Most major manufacturers have been steadily upgrading their external drives to take advantage of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. Now that Apple has replaced all their ports on their latest machines, we’ve seen more and more hit the market. One of the earliest adopters is LaCie who brought their chic Porsche design to their USB-C mobile drive.
The design is one of the flagship features of the Porsche Design drive. LaCie started a partnership with the legendary design house back in 2003 and have collaborated ever since. The goal is to blend LaCie’s passion for technology, with the classic Porsche style.
The drive is very svelte and well designed. It looks fantastic next to the MacBook Pro. It comes in a brushed silver aluminum exterior, that while it doesn’t match my darker space grey color, goes alongside the traditional finish very well.
Aluminum is a great exterior for a drive, and something we’ve seen before. The difference from other drives, including LaCie’s, is the lack of rubber bumper surrounding the edge. This is meant to be a mobile drive, yet it doesn’t offer much in the way of drop protection. The build quality is solid, so I’m sure it would hold up well, but not nearly as much as their Rugged Drives.
The corners on the drive are beautiful. They have well polished edges, which is a notable contrast from the brushed exterior gracing the remainder of the drive’s surfaces. It is reminiscent of the chamfered edges of the iPhone 5 and 5s.
While they look great, they are precision 90º angles, and as such, can be a bit sharp. Nothing dangerous, but if I tossed this into my bag of gear, I would be slightly nervous of them imposing a scratch onto another metal surface. Luckily, I have many pockets in my bag and I keep many things compartmentalized, so this wasn’t an issue for me in the real world.
Ports and cables
LaCie is using the USB 3.1 spec for the Porsche Design drive. That will give solid performance, especially considering it is an HDD and not an SSD.
There is only a single port, and a single minuscule LED on the drive itself. If you haven’t guessed by now, that port is a USB-C port. Ideal for the latest MacBooks and MacBook Pros.
LaCie includes a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box, but they also include a legacy cable in the form of a USB-C to USB-A cord for older machines, or many Windows PCs.
While out of the gate it is pre-formatted for Mac, a simple reformat will add Windows support for any PC users out there.
Performance wise, there is nothing exceedingly special or disappointing. The most I can say is that it is unremarkable. Using the Black Magic Disk Speed test, I was able to pull 138MBps read and write speed, which is exactly what I would expect from a 7mm drive.
In real world use, I transferred a 1.32GB file from my Mac to the LaCie Porsche Design drive and measured the time it took to transfer. I repeated this test a few times to get a solid average time for the transfer. After several repeated tests, I got consistently the same number, averaging just a hair above 9 seconds. With a 1.32GB file, that averages to a transfer speed of ~145MBps. Of course, this will entirely depend on your machine and system, and can’t be guaranteed.
The drive comes in several variations, all with the same design aesthetic. Aside from silver, you can also find it in gold, and rose gold. While we reviewed the mobile version, the desktop version was very intriguing.
Not only is it also USB-C, but it offers passthrough charging as well for the latest Macs. It has its own input cable, and handles data, as well as USB-C PD through the USB cord connected to your Mac.
If you are looking for a stationary solution, that may be the better option. The added capacity, passthrough power, all do require quite a bit more space than the mobile variant however.
The mobile version has capacities between 1 TB – 5 TB, where the desktop can be purchased in 3 TB – 8 TB configurations.
Wrapping it up
You have tons of options for external hard drives, and we’ve already covered many of these options! LaCie is known for exceptional external drives, packed with reliable Seagate HDD and SSDs inside. The Porsche Design Mobile Drive is not meant to be the fastest, or the most rugged of the LaCie lineup, but it is the best looking. It has solid performance, killer design, at a reasonable price.
You can pick up the 2 TB version for only $99 over on Amazon.
I’m particularly fond of this stripped down design aesthetic, but what about the rest of you? Sound off below in the comments.