LaCie Starck Desktop Hard Drive 1TB review
1TB hard disk, USB2, 51x115x205mm
We're used to seeing daring and unusually designed hardware from LaCie, but the company's Starck desktop disk is particularly eye-catching. The gold-coloured undulating front panel not only looks unique but also acts as a touch-sensitive button. When pressed, it launches the bundled Genie Backup Assistant or a backup program of your own choosing.
The front panel also projects a small cross onto your desk which acts as a disk activity indicator, flashing whenever the disk is in use. The rest of the boxy, grey, heavy metal case feels particularly robust.
The Starck isn't all beauty and no substance. It performed very well in almost all our file transfer benchmarks. Its overall speed of around 30MB/s copying large files is in line with what we'd expect from a desktop USB2 disk. It was also very fast at writing small files, speeding ahead at 29MB/s, but was a little slow at reading them, managing just 19.4MB/s.
The bundled Genie Backup Assistant software works well enough, although the fussy, overcomplicated interface is a little confusing at first. It can back up your files automatically according to a schedule and only backs up those files which have changed since the last backup, saving time. It can also compress and encrypt back ups. It saves files as a proprietary disk image though, so you'll need a copy of the software to restore your files, which is inconvenient.
The LaCie 1TB Starck is inexpensive at just £83, although its price per gigabyte of 8p isn't quite as low as some other USB disks we've seen. The bundled backup software needs improvement too. Most people would be better off spending a little more on an even better value, higher-capacity disk, but if your budget is limited, buying the Starck isn't a hardship – it's still a good-value and elegantly designed desktop hard disk.