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LaCie Fuel 1TB review

Alan Lu
22 Feb 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
169
inc VAT

The Fuel works well, but the almost identical Seagate Wireless Plus is better value

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The LaCie Fuel is a wireless hard disk that can be used as extra storage for your smartphone and tablet. Files are copied from your PC to the Fuel’s 1TB hard disk via USB3, and you then use an iOS or Android app to access the files. You can even access the drive on the move thanks to its built-in battery.

LaCie Fuel 1TB

Although the Fuel creates its own 72Mbit/s 802.11n WiFi hotspot, you won’t want to copy huge amounts of data wirelessly. As expected, transfer speeds were very slow: 1.1MB/s overall for large files and an even slower 0.8MB/s overall for small files. On the bright side, you don’t need to sacrifice internet access when connected to the Fuel, there’s a wireless passthrough mode that lets you connect to your existing wireless network.

When connected via USB3 the fuel performed as expected. Large files were written at 93.4MB/s and read at 103.5MB/s. Small files were written at 18MB/s and read at 40.7MB/s.

Apart from its odd appearance, the Fuel is unusual in another way. It’s effectively a rebranded version of the Seagate Wireless Plus. You even use the Seagate Media app to access files stored on the Fuel from your smartphone or tablet.

LaCie Fuel 1TB

Android and iOS users must access the Fuel with the Seagate Media app. We had no trouble streaming both standard and high-definition MP4 and H264 videos, but the app couldn’t play the audio in any of our MKV files and it wouldn’t play DivX files at all. You must download incompatible videos to your device locally and open them in another app to play them. We had no trouble with photos or music, though.

The iOS and Android apps differ when it comes to uploading files from your device to the Fuel. On Android you can upload almost any file you like, as the app has full access to the Android file system using a built-in file browser. On iOS, due to Apple’s restrictions, uploading is fiddly. The iOS app has direct access to your camera roll so you can upload photos and videos that you’ve taken. With other files, you must send them from other apps to Seagate’s Media app using the iOS ‘Open in’ command, if it’s available. You can, of course, connect to the Fuel from your computer. It shows up as both a standard SMB share and as a UPnP media server.

LaCie Fuel 1TB

The LaCie Fuel is a good wireless hard disk, but at £170 it’s £30 more expensive than the Seagate Wireless Plus which is identical, apart from its plainer appearance. Unless you’re really taken with the Fuel’s looks, the Seagate Wireless Plus is a better buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating***

Storage

Hard diskSeagate Momentus ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
Capacity1TB
Formatted capacity931GB
Price per gigabyte£0.17
Disk size2.5in
InterfaceUSB3, 802.11b/g/n
Power connectorUSB from host
Spindle speed5,400rpm
Cache8MB
Seek time12.0ms
Weight300g
Size23x115x115mm
Power consumption idleN/A
Power consumption activeN/A

Buying Information

Backup software includednone
Price£169
Warrantytwo year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.wexphotographic.com
Detailswww.lacie.com

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