The LaCie Mobile Drive (2022) is a mildly redesigned version of the company’s external hard drive that we reviewed in March 2019. Available in capacities ranging from 1TB ($79.99) to the 5TB model tested here ($169.99), the new drive has a tasteful silver and black aluminum chassis. It’s easy to set up and use, and its LaCie Toolkit software enables backup, restore, and mirroring, although its touch of style brings a slightly higher cost than other external hard drives.
The Design: A Vision in Silver
Measuring 0.4 by 3.5 by 4.8 inches (HWD), the LaCie Mobile Drive (2022) has the same dimensions as the 2019 model but trades the latter’s wedge shape for a more traditional slab with rounded corners. The device’s flat top and bottom are silver, with a corrugated black belt that I came to think of as moon-buggy treads encircling the sides, interrupted by a USB-C port and a status light on one of the short sides.
(Credit:: Kyle Cobian)
A LaCie logo and the caption “design by Neil Poulton” are centered on the drive’s top. It seems fitting to call out the designer, as LaCie has done with some other drives, because the aesthetic is a large part of the Mobile Drive’s appeal.
(Credit: Kyle Cobian)
In addition to the capacities listed below, LaCie offers an Apple-exclusive model of the Mobile Drive (2022) that provides hardware-based encryption and comes in a different color (space gray).
The drive comes formatted in exFAT so it will work out of the box with both Windows machines and Macs, each of which gets a Start Here utility to get you up and running. It also can connect with iPads.
The downloadable LaCie Toolkit includes backup, restore, and mirroring utilities. You can back up manually or choose set-and-forget operation, in which your content is constantly backed up whenever anything changes. The mirror function lets you sync files in a folder on your computer with one on the drive. Whatever you put in or remove from one mirrored folder will be reflected in the other.
The Mobile Drive comes with a three-year warranty and three-year access to Rescue Data Recovery Services.
Testing the 2022 LaCie Mobile Drive. A Mix of Speed Results:
We ran our usual BlackMagic and file copy benchmarks from a 2016 MacBook Pro using the drive’s native exFAT, then reformatted it to NTFS for our Crystal DiskMark 6.0 and PCMark 10 Overall Storage tests using our Intel X299-based testbed.
The LaCie’s sequential read and write speeds as measured by Crystal DiskMark were slightly higher than average, but not exceptional for a platter-based consumer drive. Its score in PCMark 10, which measures a drive’s ability to perform a range of everyday storage tasks, was relatively low.
As expected, the Mobile Drive proved much slower than an external solid-state drive, but you’ll pay much more for an SSD of comparable capacity.
(Credit: Kyle Cobian)
When Style Matters:
The 2022 iteration of the LaCie Mobile Drive offers basically the same product as the 2019 original with a different and equally pleasing aesthetic, as well as the company’s familiar backup, restore, and mirroring software. If you don’t mind a drive that’s a little less eye-catching, the Editors’ Choice-award-winning WD My Passport comes in capacities up to 5TB and provides hardware-based encryption as well as backup and restore at a lower price. The version we tested did not have a USB-C port, although the more recent WD My Passport Ultra does.
LaCie Mobile Drive (2022). Bottom (Credit: Kyle Cobian)
Still, the LaCie Mobile Drive effort is a solid storage upgrade if you like the look; the speed differences won’t be much matter unless you spend your days shuttling massive files on and off USB drives and wait for the results. (In that case, you should get an external SSD, anyway.) With its stylish looks, the 2022 Mobile Drive is a good way to convey a professional appearance or just maintain a decorative desktop. It’s sturdy and simple to use, although you will pay a slight premium for it.
LaCie Mobile Drive (2022)
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