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LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt 500GB External Storage SSD Review

LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt 500GB External Storage SSD Review

We take a look at the Rugged, a portable Thunderbolt solution from LaCie. Read on as Tyler tells us all about the 500GB SSD version and what it can do.

By Tyler Bernath from Jul 10, 2014 @ 17:05 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: LaCie

For those of you looking for portable storage solutions, there is certainly no shortage of options available on the market. Whether you're looking for something with intense performance or tremendous durability, LaCie has always filled their portfolio with solutions catered toward the end users' needs.

Today, we take both performance and durability and wrap it into a single product, the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt. This new rugged storage solution is IP54 rated for dust and water protection, and marketing says our 500GB SSD model is capable of 387 MB/s read. In addition to that, the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt is shockproof up to two meters and comes with LaCie Private-Public to enable software AES 256-bit encryption.

While the selling point of this portable solution does lean on Thunderbolt technology, LaCie has included USB 3.0 connectivity for those without Thunderbolt abilities.

MSRP of the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt in the 500GB SSD flavor is listed at $499.99 with a three-year warranty.


The packaging for the Rugged Thunderbolt follows what we normally see with LaCie. Front and center, we have the drive itself. Marketing information is minimal on the front, but there is just enough to let you know its performance.


Scope of delivery leaves us with the Rugged, a USB 3.0 cable, and reading materials.


Many are probably wondering where the Thunderbolt cable was in the packaging. As you can see, LaCie has directly attached it to the device.


For those of you wanting to use the USB 3.0 connection, LaCie has tucked it away inside the rubber housing.


Internally, LaCie has chosen to use the Samsung PM851 512GB SSD.


To test the performance of the LaCie Rugged, we used the Thunderbolt interface. Running the drive through Black Magic, we found ourselves right with marketing specifications at 384 MB/s read and 353 MB/s write, as you can see in the previous image.


Moving on, we fired up AJA system test and ran the Rugged through the 720p workload. As you can see, the drive did quite well with consistent reads at 380 MB/s.


Moving over to 1080p, we again find fairly consistent read performance at 400 MB/s, while write performance peaked at 370 MB/s.


Finally, we passed the drive through our 4K workload. Here we topped out at 410 MB/s read and 380 MB/s write.

The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt is probably one of the most durable drives I have had the chance to get my hands-on in the last few years. The rubber exterior of the drive offers a certain amount of bounce to aid in impact protection, and with our unit being an SSD model, the durability goes even further with no moving parts.

Performance of the drive was quite good, though when researching the drive used in this solution, we found that Samsung says it's capable of 540 MB/s read and 410 MB/s write, so I am curious where that extra performance went, but then again, it could just be the HFS+ file system and/or OS X. In our testing, we were able to reach 410 MB/s read and 380 MB/s in our 4K workload testing with AJA.

The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt in the 500GB capacity carries an MSRP of $499.99 with a three-year warranty. Current marking pricing can be found below.

PRICING: You can find the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt (500GB SSD) retails for $499.99 at Amazon.

Canada: The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt (500GB SSD) for CDN$583.39 at Amazon Canada.



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