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LaCie Starck Mobile Hard Drive 500GB review

Alan Lu
30 May 2010
LaCie Starck Mobile
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
74
inc VAT

LaCie's Starck Mobile looks and feels classy, but its captive USB cable isn't as well designed as the rest of the disk.

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Specifications

500GB hard disk, USB2, 20x91x144mm

Design isn't just about what a product looks like, it's also about how well it works. By this measure, the LaCie Starck Mobile comes very close to being a superb portable hard disk but just misses the mark.

We were greatly impressed by the Starck Mobile's sleek looks and how robust and well-made it feels. The thick aluminum casing is noticeably heavier compared to other plastic portable disks, but, although we would still treat any portable disk with care, it feels sturdy enough to survive most everyday scrapes. The tapered edges make it feel thinner than it actually is.

At the front is an undulating, attractive gold coloured plate. At the back is a small recess where the captive USB cable coils up when not in use. Although this means the USB cable is impossible to lose, removing it is trickier than it should be due to the lack of space. After a few attempts we noticed some slight wear and tear on the thin, two-inch cable which didn't inspire confidence.

The short length of the cable makes it troublesome to use with a desktop PC, but an extension lead is included. This has a second USB plug to provide extra power in case a single USB port is insufficient.

A setup program automatically formats the Starck Mobile as either NTFS for use with Windows, or as separate HFS+ and FAT32 partitions for use with MacOS and Windows. The included LaCie-branded backup program supports scheduled and incremental, but not versioned backups. It can optionally compress and encrypt your files, but you have to use the program to restore your files – this can't be done from Windows Explorer. The interface is also more cluttered and confusing to use than we'd like.

The Starck Mobile coped well with our large files test, copying them at around 29MB/s. Small files were written quickly at just under 24MB/s, but they were written more slowly than we'd expect at 14.6MB/s.

Overall, we liked the Starck Mobile. Despite its classy appearance and build quality, it's reasonably priced at just 15p per gigabyte. The fiddly captive cable is irritating though, and Hitachi's Rugged Portable Drive is a little faster, water resistant and costs a few pounds less.

Basic Specifications

Rating****

Storage

Hard diskSeagate Momentus 5400.6 500GB
Capacity500GB
Formatted capacity465GB
Price per gigabyte£0.15
Disk size2.5in
InterfaceUSB2
Power connectorUSB from host
Spindle speed5,400rpm
Cache8MB
Seek time14.0ms
Weight348g
Size20x91x144mm
Power consumption idleN/A
Power consumption activeN/A

Buying Information

Backup software includedLaCie Genie Backup Assistant 8
Price£74
Warrantytwo years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.lacie.com/uk

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