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LaCie Mobile Drive Portable HDD Review: Pretty Portable

Our Verdict

LaCie’s Mobile Drive features a sleek design and an Apple-like finish. It's priced at a premium over alternatives in the market, but outside of aesthetics, it's similar in performance and capacity to drives that cost less. So unless you're primarily interested in looks or in trying out the free month of Adobes Creative Cloud, there are better options available for less.

For

  • Sleek aesthetics
  • Solid build quality
  • USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables included
  • Nice LaCie software package
  • Includes a month of Adobe CC

Against

  • Expensive for capacity and performance you get

Lavish and Spacious

LaCie's simply named Mobile Drive is a sleek-looking portable HDD, for those looking for some style in their external storage lives. But that’s really all it has going for it compared to most other comparable external drives. In testing, it hit speeds of up to 140MBps, which isn’t too bad for a 2.5-inch HDD-based external, but is in the stone age compared to SSD-based alternatives. And, although it does come in at lower cost than flash, be prepared to pay the LaCie tax for its aesthetics. LaCie demands a significant premium, at $25-50 per capacity, over similarly performing external HDD options on the market.

LaCie’s latest generation of external HDDs focuses on lavish design. And we can't blame the company, given that single-drive portable disk-based storage tends to be pretty similar (and stagnant) when it comes to performance, making it tough to differentiate. This portable external HDD feels as solid as it looks. The diamond-cut aluminum finish makes this drive one of the classiest-looking devices we have used this year. But, looks aren’t all it has going on.

LaCie’s Mobile drive comes in spacious capacities to store all your data. LaCie states that their largest capacity can store up to 165 hours of 4K video or up to 500,000 photos. It utilizes the new USB-C interface, but, because it’s still an HDD inside, can’t begin to saturate the interface.

Specifications

ProductMobile Drive 1TBMobile Drive 2TBMobile Drive 4TBMobile Drive 5TB
Pricing$69.99$94.99$139.99$159.99
Capacity1TB2TB4TB5TB
Interface / ProtocolUSB-C / USB 3.1 Gen 1USB-C / USB 3.1 Gen 2USB-C / USB 3.1 Gen 3USB-C / USB 3.1 Gen 4
Included Cable (s)USB Type-C to Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-AUSB Type-C to Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-AUSB Type-C to Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-AUSB Type-C to Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A
Sequential Read140 MB/s140 MB/s140 MB/s140 MB/s
Sequential Write140 MB/s140 MB/s140 MB/s140 MB/s
Storage Media2.5" 5400RPM HDD2.5" 5400RPM HDD2.5" 5400RPM HDD2.5" 5400RPM HDD
Default File SystemexFATexFATexFATexFAT
PowerBus-poweredBus-poweredBus-poweredBus-powered
SecurityNoneNoneNoneNone
Dimensions (L x W x H)10 x 87.8 x 121.6 mm11 x 87.8 x 121.6 mm20 x 91.2 x 124 mm21 x 91.2 x 124 mm
Weight200g (Without Cable)200g (Without Cable)400g (Without Cable)400g (Without Cable)
Part NumberSTHG1000400STHG2000400STHG4000400STHG5000400
Warranty2-Years2-Years2-Years2-Years

LaCie lists the availability of the Mobile Drive in four capacities: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB. All don’t have an official rating on LaCie’s website, but in testing, they can hit speeds of up to  about 140 MB/s. Unlike their SSD counterparts, the Mobile Drive features a shorter 2-year warranty.

Software and Accessories

Included with the drive are two USB cables, one a USB Type-C to Type-C cable and the other a USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable for broad compatibility. This means the drive will work with Thunderbolt 3- and USB 3-compatible devices.

From the factory, LaCie’s Mobile Drive comes pre-formatted as exFAT so that it is both PC and Mac compatible. Pre-loaded on the drive are a warranty document and a quick-start application to help you set up your Adobe membership and download LaCie’s Toolkit, which can be used to back up your data.

Like the LaCie Rugged RAID Pro we reviewed a few months ago, LaCie's Mobile Drive also features a 1-month membership to Adobe's Creative Cloud All Apps plan ($53 if purchased separately). Unfortunately, there is no encryption feature or software included.

Closer Look

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LaCie's Mobile Drive features an all-aluminum sandblasted finish and diamond-cut design in moon silver color. In addition to moon silver, there is also a space gray model to fully match your Mac, but it is only sold by Apple at this time.

Our 2TB review sample measures in at 10 x 87.8 x 121.6 mm and weighs about 74g. The 4TB and 5TB models are double the thickness and slightly larger overall. These also weigh about double what the 1TB and 2TB models weigh, due to additional storage platters on the internal drives.

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