LaCie Mobile Drive Portable HDD Review: Pretty Portable

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LaCie’s Mobile Drive is more aesthetically pleasing than your average portable HDD. Its diamond-cut edging and sandblasted aluminum finish rank it up there as one of the best-looking and -feeling external HDDs we have come across to date. It's definitely a top pick if you want to match your external drive to your Mac or other aluminum-finished devices.

But flash-based storage is still light years ahead in terms of speed, and prices of SSDs have been steadily and dramatically falling over the last few years. So if you care about performance, you should probably opt for an external SSD. Performance of the Mobile Drive is average for an HDD of this caliber. In testing, we hit speeds of up to 140 MBps read and write and averaged transferring data around at about 120MBps. If you plan on doing anything other than backing up, your experience may be a bit laggy. Flash-based portable drives are much better for any more-demanding tasks, as demonstrated by our PCMark 8 results.

We appreciate that LaCie included USB-C to USB-A and USB-C to USB-C cables for broad market compatibility. Not everyone has the latest and greatest devices with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 support. And, LaCie’s Toolkit is a great software tool for end-users to utilize for their backup routine. It's quite simple to use and gets the job done without much effort. It takes the guesswork out of backing up.

One thing that we think LaCie could improve is adding a rubber texture to the bottom of the drive to prevent slipping on desks and other surfaces. Other than that, the drive is a pretty solid build. The only other qualm we have is the premium price being so much higher than competing portable hard drives, to the point that you can get double the storage capacity, plus similar performance and warranty for roughly the same price or just a little more. If you are in search of a new portable HDD, LaCie’s Mobile Drive wouldn’t be our first recommendation, especially if you care about value. But if looks matter to you, externals don’t get much prettier than LaCie’s Mobile Drive.

Image Credits: Tom's Hardware


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Sean Webster
Storage Reviewer

Sean is a Contributing Editor at Tom’s Hardware US, covering storage hardware.