There’s a fear that most creatives and freelancers have. You’ve may have experienced it before, and if you haven’t you will eventually. It’s not the trepidation that arises when you’re awaiting a response from a potential client. Refreshing your email or staring at your phone won’t deliver a decision any faster; walk away slowly. Instead, it’s the fear of your computer crashing and years of your life recorded in photographs, videos, and essentially all your files disappearing into a technological black hole. You have no clue where they went and you may never find them. It’s the technological equivalent of losing your sock in the dryer.
You can choose to mourn the loss of files that will never return, or you can start to back your files up to an external hard drive. Whether you’re saving stills from a fashion shoot in the Mohave Dessert or audio tracks of your toddler’s first laugh, a drive can keep them safe.
As an aspiring food photographer, I spend the majority of my time in restaurants photographing dishes as they come from the kitchen to the table. Whether I’ve captured a plate of burgers in Los Angeles, a sea bass in Phuket, or an artichoke risotto in Mexico City my computer is full of images and reviews that I never want to lose.
Enter the hard drive. While there is an almost endless amount on the market, I was given the chance to test out the LaCie Rugged Raid 4TB and I wanted to see how it fared in the areas of design, durability, and performance.
LaCie Rugged Raid Design
Priced at just under $400, the LaCie Rugged Raid 4TB mobile storage is small and lightweight. At the same height of most smartphones, the drive fits perfectly into your hand. With a weight that scales just under 1.5lbs it won’t weigh my laptop bag down. I love the bright orange rubber sleeve around the device since it helps it stand out while keeping the internal parts intact.
Initially, my favorite part is that they designed the Thunderbolt cable to wrap around the sleeve. It makes it one less thing to have to remember! That changed when I realized the cable is compatible with Mac computers only. Seriously?
I opened the box, read the instructions, and then saw a black cable to connect with my PC and a power cable. Computer discrimination, how nice. Since wrapping the Thunderbolt cable around the drive is a very convenient feature, it would be great if LaCie added a row for the PC user out there. If not, sell a version for the PC user.
Another issue I had with the device was the length of the cables. In short, they’re not that long. You may not think you need plenty of cord distance, but considering the drive has to be plugged in for a PC to use it, your options are to either sit next to an outlet or leave your computer alone for a while.
LaCie Rugged Raid Durability
I may not be a fan of the cables, but I was impressed with how durable the LaCie Rugged Raid was. Since my work has me running between cities and surrounds me with food, I wanted to see how it would respond in that environment. On the way to a coffee shop, the drive “slipped” out of my hands. A few drops from two feet high had little impact on it.
Even more surprising, it worked just fine after I spilled my latte on it. As if it was unaffected, it continued to display and accept files with little delay or interruption. I wanted to pour a full cup on it, but people grabbing coffee started staring at me. It’s not indestructible, but it is pretty reliable.
LaCie Rugged Raid Speed
After an easy install and set up, I wanted to see how it was to transfer files to the drive. I transferred a folder that included JPEG and Photoshop (PSD) files of a shoot I took of this drive at a coffee shop. The 530 MB folder contained 46 files. It took 29.6 seconds to transfer the single folder. Not too shabby.
I then dropped 5000 JPEG and PSD files on the drive and that’s when it took a bit longer, 38 minutes to be exact. I could only imagine copying all of my important folders and files would take an entire evening. Take that into consideration when using the drive for the first time or if you constantly load it with large files.
If you’re transferring all of your files via the Thunderbolt cable, it’ll probably complete in an ideal amount of time. However, if you’re using the PC cable then you may want to grab something eat. Like popcorn and then go see a movie, and maybe it’ll be done when you get back home.
Overall LaCie created a sleek and durable mobile storage device. If price isn’t a factor, I recommend purchasing the LaCie Rugged Raid and trying it out for yourself. As a whole, the device works well, but is best for those running on Mac.