Written by: Dave Cryer
Many people nowadays are turning to laptops for their main systems, not only due to the power that is now available in these mobile machines, but also because it offers a very versatile set-up. Not having to look after two systems is very nice and the ability to connect your laptop up to an external display, gives you the best of both worlds.
Storage whilst on the move is very handy, but when your laptop comes with maybe only 60Gb of internal storage you may not have enough. When your mobile storage needs expand your only option is to either get a larger hard drive installed (often an expensive option) or invest in an external device. This is where the Lacie MobileDrive comes into play. It offers you 80Gb or 100Gb (as reviewed here)â€ˆof external storage in a very neat package. This unit is very nicely styled, sleek curves to the front and no protruding feet to catch on things. It is small enough to easily fit into a large coat pocket or a normal bag pocket alongside your laptop. It does not feel cheap either, despite its’ very competitive price tag.
The Lacie MobileDrive has one green power/activity light on the top of the hard drive casing and the back sports a single USB2 connection and a port for the (optional) power supply. A very important note here, is that the MobileDrive worked perfectly with both a MacBook and older 12-inch PowerBook G4, happily drawing power from a single USB2 port. No need to carry around a bulky power supply, which is ideal for staying mobile. If you do need more power, then the supplied powershare cable allows you to draw power from a second USB port. This is in contrast to a previous encounter Iâ€ˆhad with a SmartDisk Firelite drive that needed an external power supply to jump into action.
All the cables, a quick start guide and a utility CD are supplied in the box and the Lacie MobileDrive offers straight plug-n-play use on most systems (Windows 98/SE &â€ˆME require drivers). In use the drive performed very well indeed, with a 270Mb file copying across in 16 seconds and a 1Gb file in just 68 seconds. All this with silent operation and no noticeable vibrations coming from the unit. There are a lot of mobile hard drives available on the market nowadays, but the Lacie MobileDrive wins my vote. It offers great styling, silent operation and has user friendly smooth sleek lines to the casing. Not forgetting the all important performance which is the icing on the cake.
To download a printable PDF version of the review click here.
Product supplied by Lacie UK
Retail price: $129.00
Link to product.
Link to product datasheet.
thanks for the review. I am running Windows XP but intend to get a Mac very soon. Will it work with both systems? Any special formatting?
It will work with both systems fine, just leave it formatted as it comes out the box and it will work with both Windows and Mac OS.
As long as you don’t plan on using Final Cut Pro. FCP doesn’t play well with the Mac/Window Exchange format that the drive comes with. If that doesn’t apply to you then everything will be seamless.
I bouth this drive 2 weeks ago and it came pre formatted for both Mac and Pc. I have a 12in powerbook G4 and this drive is awesome. I bought the 100gig drive and use it soley for my iTunes music. It is almost full and I will be buying another one just like this in the future. Lacie.com had this drive for around $170 and I found the same drive from J&R Electronics for around $106. For a little more than $1 a gig, this is worth every penny!!!!
I’ve had the Lacie Mobile drive for less than a month & so far it works fine. I also have an older Lacie portable drive that’s Firewire & the new USB2 Mobile drive takes longer to mount on the desktop than the the Firewire drive. Writing files to them both took about the same time. The 1 thing I’m worried about is the casing. It reminds me of the very sleek Porsche Lacie drive that caused many problems for various people. I just hope with a casing this sleek, it doesn’t get damaged like the Porsche.
You are absolutely correct that many people are using laptops only. We are becoming so mobile we do not want to be tied down.
I work for myself just so I can take trips when I want and having a laptop means having more freedom to take work along for more trips.
Of course backing up my data back home is essential and drives such as the Lacie make this a snap as well.
Laptops have surely become much cheaper and powerful.I have many friends most of whom aren’t always on the move who own laptops instead of Desktop PCs.The most important property of a laptop is its mobility.But I don’t think laptops can still provide you with the power that a desktop might provide in around the same budget or maybe even more.You can’t put in good quality Graphic Cards, also the room for customization is pretty less.