LaCie’s Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt is a Must-Have for Students – Review

LaCie’s extremely popular Rugged series has been updated and it’s now better than ever. Designed by Neil Poulton, the drive has risen to the ranks over the years thanks to its bold and tough design – and this time around, it’s even tougher. To that effect, you’ll be covered for drops up to 2 meters (6.6 feet), with a removable cover offering IP54 dust and water resistance. On the inside, there’s AES 256-bit encryption software for use with all of your files.

Speaking of its new design, we wholly appreciate that they have integrated the Thunderbolt cable directly into the drive by stowing the cable neatly along the side of it. The cable extends pretty far. But aside from Thunderbolt support, the drive also supports USB 3.0. A USB 3.0 cable is included in the box. And when it comes to being rugged – they aren’t kidding – during testing we dropped, threw, and even lightly washed the drive quickly under the sink – yet the data inside of it kept kicking.

When it comes to performance, via Thunderbolt we saw 120MB/s write and 122MB/s read speeds when testing with Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test app. That indicates that the drive is very good, but if performance is extremely important for you, you’ll want to check out the SSD models. The SSD models of the drive are significantly pricier, but they have claimed speeds of around 387 MB/s.

The drive also comes preloaded with software that makes it very easy to format the drive for Mac or PC, and even to partition the drive for both. In addition, the Rugged also comes preloaded with AES encryption software and a backup app.


LaCie’s Rugged series continues to be a winner. Its new and improved design doesn’t reinvent the wheel but makes this product even better. Overall, this is an ideal portable drive for students – and anyone who travels around a lot and is going to be really tough on their drive, and they need to make sure that their precious data is protected.

Pricing for the 1TB model is $219, $299 for the 2TB model, and the 256GB SSD model costs $299 and $499 for the 500GB SSD. Granted, the pricing for LaCie’s Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt is expensive, especially if you’re a student on a budget – but the cost of keeping your homework safe? Well that is just priceless.

The Good: Drop resistant up to 4 feet , Available as an SSD option, comes with both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connections, super fast speeds, bus-powered / no power supply required, tough and truly ready for the road, bold design, AES encryption, comes with 3 year warranty, Thunderbolt connector is conveniently built into the drive, comes with USB 3.0 cable, comes preloaded with easy to use software for formatting the drive

The Bad: A bit on the heavy side, pricey