What is the point of buying an external disk currently if we can make backups in the cloud or pass files directly over the Internet or a pendrive? It may seem that little, but portable external drives are still the order of the day, because there are sectors where they are simply insurmountable. Capturing and moving large amounts of data out of the office or at home becomes cumbersome, if you do not have a good portable storage unit.

In this aspect there is a brand and specifically a range of the brand that has managed to position itself among the favorites over the years. This is LaCie and its Rugged range – yes, those orange discs -, a range that has been evolving and expanding to adapt to specific uses and especially to new technologies, such as the USB-C connection. The LaCie Rugged may have become popular in the professional multimedia sector, but it does not mean that anyone can not take advantage of it.

We have tested the LaCie Rugged USB-C, one of the most balanced models of the brand in terms of performance and price. This HDD storage unit offers the convenience and speed of connecting by USB-C while maintaining the iconic design that gives it a higher resistance than one expects from an external storage disk. A resistance that even if you do not know the brand or the range, you will notice as soon as you see it.

LaCie Rugged

Why USB-C? To discuss in 2018 the advantages of this port surely no longer makes sense. It is a simpler and more efficient connection than the others, but above all it allows different functions to be grouped in the same port, in the case of Rugged disks, data transmission and power. It has a “but”, the USB-C connector was approved in 2015 as a standard, however in full 2018 neither the majority of devices implement it, nor the majority of manufacturers bet on this connection in their computers and devices. This makes the Rugged USB-C limited in the situations you want to use it and the device to which you connect it does not have a USB-C connection.

Specifications and characteristics

SIZE 86 x 135 x 19 mm
WEIGHT 270 grams
SPEED Up to 135 MB / s
COMPATIBILITY Compatible with USB 3.0
RESISTANCE Falls of 1.2 meters and splash resistant
PRICE From 98.90 dollars

The LaCie Rugged USB-C consists primarily of the storage unit, the protective case, a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A cable. It is the size that one expects from an external disk of 2.5 inches, a final size of 86 x 135 x 19 mm, somewhat less if we remove the case. As for the weight of the device, it reaches 270 grams, which, like the size, is nothing out of the ordinary. In any case it is a comfortable external disk, the case causes that when you see it and take it you know that you have something useful in your hands, a work tool.

The unit we have tested has a capacity of 1TB, the brand also has a 2TB model and a 4TB model on sale. It should be noted that what we find inside is a hard drive and not an SSD, the SSD are reserved for the Rugged Thunderbolt, which obviously go up in price. The disk itself has a single USB-C port, there is no power port, as it receives power from USB-C and also transfers data simultaneously. Apart from this port, it has a small LED to know when it is on and when it is operating.

What stands out at first sight in the Rugged USB-C and in all the models of the range is its resistance to rain and dust. According to the manufacturer, it is resistant to splashes and falls of up to 1.2 meters in height, it can also withstand a ton of pressure on top. But this is the usual thing, as marketing is fine but you do not have to put it to the test in those extremes. In this case we have not hit him hammer or we have thrown a fifth floor, but knowing that comes with this type of protection on a day to day you use it more calmly, with the confidence that if you fall off a table or you accidentally drops liquids on top (in principle) nothing will happen to you. It is delicate, but the delicate is well protected inside, or so it seems.

LaCie Rugged

Leaving aside the design of Neil Poulton, the interesting thing about the Rugged USB-C is inside, when connecting it to the computer and using it on a day to day basis is when you really realize that it is worth it. According to the manufacturer, the disk can reach 135 MB / s of read and write, in optimal conditions and with a computer to match. In actual use does not have to vary much this number, while it is a computer with USB 3.0 connection and use the official LaCie cable for the connection, there is no excuse for the reduction of speed is drastic.

Keep Reading: 10 TB hard drives with helium: Western Digital finally puts its technology within reach of anyone

Installation and use of the LaCie Rugged USB-C

Configure and start using the LaCie Rugged USB-C has no mystery, it is a simple external unit to which we just have to connect the cable and this in turn to the computer or device where we will manage it. Of course, when you turn it on for the first time we will have to format it like any other storage unit, giving it the format we want and creating the partitions that we need as well. If you do not have a program for it on your computer nothing happens, LaCie offers its own installation wizard for Windows and macOS. And also the user manual in PDF format.

Installation using the LaCie wizard is an option but not an obligation. The process will allow you to choose between creating a single partition or two partitions (one in NTFS and one in Mac OS Plus for example if you use a Mac and a PC). Apart from formatting the unit, it also allows us to register the product in the LaCie database and accept or not accept the terms and conditions of use of the product. My recommendation? Proceed to the configuration with the LaCie assistant to register the product and then format again with your disk manager in the format that interests you and with the partitions you need.

LaCie Rugged

The LaCie software also provides us with AES 256-bit encryption for the data that goes into the storage unit. Depending on the use of each one, it can be configured or not, but it is a protection that you can also configure when formatting the unit with another disk manager.

Real read and write speeds of the LaCie Rugged USB-C

The key factor and the one that should concern us the most when choosing a storage device is the speed of reading and writing data. Even more important is this speed if we are in a mobility environment such as this type of discs focused on capturing and moving information when we are not in the workplace.

As we have seen, LaCie promises read-write speeds of up to 135 MB / s for the Rugged USB-C. In our tests this figure has not been reached, but the average speed is not much below. The tests performed on the LaCie Rugged USB-C have been the following …

  • Copy from the computer to the disk and vice versa a total of 10 GB in photographs (approximately 700 photographs of an average of 14 MB each). This test allows you to see how the disk behaves with a large number of files.
  • Copy from the computer to the disc and vice versa a total of 10 GB in videos (two large files of approximately 5 GB each). With this we can see how the disc reacts to large files.

LaCie RuggedSix tests have been carried out each time and afterwards the average has been taken from them. On two different computers, an iMac 2017 and a MacBook Pro 2016, both with high Sierra macOS and APFS file system. The LaCie Rugged USB-C was in Mac OS Plus file format. These have been the results …

  • Copying small files the LaCie Rugged USB-C has an average speed of 118.4 MB / s of writing and 105.1 MB / s of reading.
  • Copying large files the LaCie Rugged USB-C has an average speed of 121.5 MB / s of writing and 113.2 MB / s of reading.

These same tests have also been done with the USB-C to USB-A adapter, the results have suffered a bit more …

  • Copying small files the LaCie Rugged USB-C has an average speed of 103.8 MB / s of writing and 95.4 MB / s of reading.
  • Copying large files the LaCie Rugged USB-C has an average speed of 110.8 MB / s of writing and 104.1 MB / s of reading.

The LaCie Rugged USB-C is ideal for managing files when you’re moving, when you’re not in the office or in the workplace. For example to dump the photos of a photo session, to transfer the recorded videos in an event or simply to move files if you are on a trip. Does this mean that if you only use your computer at home and you want a backup, does not the LaCie Rugged USB-C work? Of course it works, to store data that you do not need every day is perfect.

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