Review: LaCie Hard Disk Designed by Neil Poulton 1TB

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LaCie Hard Disk Designed by Neil Poulton 1TB

What a looker! It looks sleek, sexy and speedy. My recommendation after using?  Well, it’s been four months since I began this review, and I’m still missing all of my data.

/More Reviews // Seagate 8-GB CompactFlash hard drive

I was all set to write a pretty decent review for LaCie’s 1TB, 2.0 USB external hard disk some months back.  I had never purchased an entire terabyte and not only was this one recommended by several retail stores, but the price was pretty decent ($129.00 CAD at the time).

Specs:
• Measures 4.6 x 1.8 x 7.6 inches
• 2-year limited warranty
• 1 TB USB external hard drive designed by Neil Poulton
• USB 2.0, Transfer rates of up to 480 Mbps
• Plug and Play, supporting both Mac OS X and Windows
• Includes one-year online backup

LaCie Hard Disk Designed by Neil Poulton 1TB

The design is amazing, being truly the work of industrial designer Neil Poulton.  The case is sleek, almost monolithic, and the eerie blue LED glows brilliantly.  It took about a month of daily use to see the effects greasy fingers had on its sleek finish.  While USB 2.0 is nice, it can’t be ignored that a drive of this size would not have a Firewire port.  While I never managed to time a file transfer, I’d go on record as saying no transfer I had ever approached the claimed 480 mbps transfer speed.

I was impressed how well the drive handled, going in between both a PC and a Mac, and the drive partitioned nicely for both.

However, the reason I never managed to time a transfer, clocked an upload or odd else, was because,

at approximately 3 months into my usage of this drive, it utterly failed.

LaCie Hard Disk Designed by Neil Poulton 1TB

Actually, ‘failed’ would be an understatement.

At first there was an issue mounting the drive, and then approximately 8 hours later it was dead, never to be seen again.  My suspicions here (later confirmed by a Data Recovery Service) were that there was a firmware issue, and upon contacting LaCie was told that I could get a new drive for free, due to the warranty, but that my data was gone, and they could do nothing.

Upon some research I have found that a small, but significant percentage (32 out of 220 reviews on Amazon.com, or a staggering 14.5%) have had a similar issue, many comments ending in “I wont buy LaCie again” etc.  One technician told me that LaCie doesn’t actually make drives, and that they simply put other hard disks into their external cases, to which end several low-end hard drives are committed to stores and promptly fail.

How true this may be, I am not sure, however inside my drive was indeed a Hitachi hard drive. I recall buying LaCie Hard Disk, not Hitachi.  Flagrant false advertising is not something that makes me desire to write a shining review.

LaCie Hard Disk Designed by Neil Poulton 1TB

The Data Recovery Service I went to see had no luck restoring any data and with a 1tb drive full of data, I find it hard to swallow that LaCie would offer even a free drive. At that size, the drive itself becomes irrelevant, and it is the data that matters.

The drive now sits in a bin somewhere, perhaps a landfill, its eerie blue LED and smart minimalist design making the junk heaps seem a little more palatable for the brave little toaster.  However, rest assured I will not be purchasing a LaCie drive in the future, and I’ll talk anyone out of doing so.

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