Porsche Design Form, LaCie Function
Out of a collaboration born in 2003, a trailblazing tech firm and an iconic design house have forged another functional showpiece. The LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive welds forward-thinking technology from LaCie with immaculate style from Porsche Design.
Featuring an all-aluminium scratch-resistant enclosures, making the products lightweight yet sturdy, all the drives feature rounded corners, high-polish bevelled edges and a sandblast finish, showcasing the distinctively Porsche Design modern style.
In the box:
• Porsche Design Slim Drive
• USB 3.0 Type-C to Type-C cable
• USB 3.0 Type-A to Type-C cable
Technology marches on, unstoppable in it's desire to reduce everything; power, size, delays. In that, Seagate/LaCie have succeeded with the Porsche Design Slim P9227 drive. Packing an impressive 2TB* into a case that's only slightly larger than a high-end smartphone is no mean feat, and when you factor in that they bundle in a number of extra features, it's no wonder these ARE the drives you're looking for.
For those looking for a smaller solution - perhaps for simply moving files between terminals at work on a daily basis - you can also get this unit in a 1TB* format. The price is only about $100 less, so if you want the best byte for buck, this is the unit to go for. One of the key highlight features is the multi-platform compatibility. Upon unboxing the drive and connecting it to a machine of your choice, you will be required to run the setup utility. This is where you determine how the drive is going to be partitioned to suit your needs. This allows you an almost unprecedented level of flexibility, since you can format it to be entirely NTFS - which will give you full read/write functions under Windows OS from Win7 onwards, and read-only access under iOS 10.5 or higher, or at the other end of the scale, you can opt to format it entirely under Fat32 giving you complete functionality under Windows, iOS, Linus and similar operating systems. The flexibility really kicks in when it becomes apparent that you can designate a dual-partition of any size split between these two options - for example, say you want to set aside 400GB* for your "transfer drive" so that you can move those big Photoshop files from the Mac at work to the PC at home, but set the remaining 1.6TB* as NTFS for a more stable storage solution to use to backup your home PC on a regular basis... you can do that, easily!
The specs on the box state that you should be able to get transfer speeds ranging from 100mb/sec under USB 3.0 to 32MB/sec under USB 2.0. This is far short of the speeds the interfaces offer of 1.5 gigabits per second (~640 MB/sec) and 480 megabits per second (~60MB/sec) respectively, so even with all the overhead, these speeds are still fairly tame. Doing my own testing under USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 I found they were actually only slightly understating the speeds. Usually, read and write operations will have drastically different numbers, but the difference for me was quite small - less than 5% between them actually. I performed three read/write tests for each of three tasks - a 700MB video file, a 950MB text file and 1TB of mixed data with 70% large files and 30% small files of assorted types. Averaging the speeds across all 9 tests gave me the following speed averages; under USB 3.0 gave me 124.6MB/sec read, and 121.9MB/sec write. Under USB 2.0, the read speed was 31.8MB/sec and write speed averaged at 30.7MB/sec. While these numbers are far from "spectacular" they are also far from "rubbish" by any fair measurement - this is quite a good drive, most assuredly.
Stylishly speaking, the case has a sturdy aluminium case with a patina finish on all faces, with the top and bottom rims cut back in a shiny square bevel. While this looks amazing, I found it quick uncomfortable to hold, as the sharp edges felt... well, sharp. In today's style environment of smooth curves and seamless rounding, something as sharp and brickish stands out, and maybe not in the best of ways. While the performance may be well balanced, the looks score-card lets this drive down for those who want to make a statement with their digital accessories.
As a native USB Type-C device, you have the best of the modern connectivity - which makes sense since the drive is targetting those who need a drive to access PC and Mac systems on a regular basis. In the box you are presented with a Type-C to Type-C cable and a Type-C to Type-A cable for those who have not yet upgraded to Type-C hardware. Sticking with the minimalist style, that's pretty much all there is in the box apart from a quick-start guide in language-barrier-smashing pictographic format, and the usual warranty document that pretty much no-one ever reads despite it being in three languages. I want to make note though that Australians get some extra cover because of their laws, and that is detailed on the very back page.
Overall, this is a drive that will have more appeal to the fashion and style set rather than the tech-grunt cadre. While it released with an RRP of $279, a good look around the stores online will find you one at around $210 at the moment which puts it in a better position for the time being. With hard-drive prices looking to stay stable for the short term, now would be a good time to buy one of these babies to up your geek cred.
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