It’s fair to say that LaCie’s Rugged drives don’t look like anything else out there. The stout aluminium shell and garish rubber sleeve are certainly distinctive.
We’re not certain it’s something we’d want on our desk, however. And although you can replace the orange sleeve with one of a more sombre shade (an optional extra), there’s nothing you can do about the size, which for a portable drive is unusual.
It rises nearly three centimetres from the desk, and is over 14cm long. Still, if you want a drive you can throw in a rucksack, it’s reassuringly substantial.
In use it’s actually a very capable drive. It's faster than almost any other portable drive we've tested, with a read speed of 102MB/sec that challenges even desktop drives.
In our toughest test, the small file write test, it fell to 35MB/sec, but that's still good for a drive in this class.
It isn’t expensive either, coming in at 13.8p per gigabyte – nicely on the right side of average for a portable drive. And although you don’t get any accessories or free software, you do get a one year, 10GB subscription to the Wuala online storage service.
Some will be put off by the LaCie Rugged USB 3.0’s uncompromising looks, and its sheer size. But if you can tolerate the chunky aesthetic, or simply require something slightly tougher than the norm, you’ll find this a good value, high performance drive.