LaCie Rikiki hard drive review: LaCie Rikiki hard drive

3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

0.5 stars 1 user review

The Good Lowest cost-per-gigabyte drive in its class; aluminum case looks sexy and protects the drive; two-year warranty.

The Bad No FireWire port; average transfer speeds; short USB cable.

The Bottom Line LaCie's Rikiki mobile USB hard drive is an elegant storage solution that comes in three sizes up to 640GB. Its simple design exudes timeless style in a very affordable package. As long as you're not a stickler for fast transfer speeds, the LaCie Rikiki will make a worthwhile addition to your mobile arsenal.

7.3 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Service and support 7.0

After we reviewed the LaCie Starck Mobile hard drive in 2009, we started thinking that LaCie puts more emphasis on the look and design of a product rather than on its core functionality. The Starck Mobile felt clunky and couldn't keep up with the competition in both transfer speeds and cost per gigabyte. Luckily, LaCie redeems itself with the Rikiki external hard drive. It's available in three capacities, and a solid performer and even earns the lowest cost per gigabyte among our four competing drives. Whittled down to a much smaller case than the Starck Mobile had, LaCie has earned Rikiki a new fan, and we recommend it to anyone in need of more on-the-go storage capacity.

Design and features
LaCie certainly has no problem with the design of its products. We give its creative forms like the LaCie IamaKey USB flash drive and the classic Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive high marks in the design category, and the Rikiki is no different.

The Rikiki is one of the smallest external hard drives we've tested at just 4.3 inches tall by 2.9 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick. There are no flashy graphics or awkward rubber wings to protect the drive. Instead, LaCie went minimalist and encased the 2.5-inch hard drive with a dent-resistant brushed-aluminum casing that not only looks stylish but also protects data from the hazards of everyday transportation. The drive is bare except for a USB 2.0 port and a small LED on top that lets you know when the drive is in action. Finally, LaCie learned its lesson from the Starck Mobile and dropped the weight of the Rikiki to a manageable 158 grams.

Drive type 2.5-inch external USB flash hard drive
Connector options USB 2.0
Size (LWH) 4.3 inches by 2.9 inches by 0.5 inch
Weight 158 grams
Available capacities 250GB, 500GB, 640GB
Capacity of test unit 500GB
Operating systems supported Windows 2000, XP (32- and 64-bit), and 32-bit Windows Vista
Software included Genie Backup

The drive includes a 6-inch USB cord in the box that works fine on laptops with accessible USB ports; however, desktop users might need to buy a longer cable. We used our standard desktop test system to test the Rikiki's transfer speeds and found ourselves wishing for the integrated USB cable that seems to have disappeared from LaCie's drives after the Starck Mobile.

The drive automatically launches the LaCie setup assistant when you plug it into your computer for the first time. This application gives you a brief overview of the different partition and formatting types, including NTFS, HFS+, and FAT32. It then formats the drive according to your needs. The drive also includes a copy of the Genie Backup Assistant, a simple backup tool that uses folder-based backup and incremental restoration points to keep your data safe. Mac OS and 64-bit Windows users are out of luck, as the software only works with Windows 2000, XP (32- and 64-bit), and 32-bit Windows Vista.

Cost per gigabyte
The Rikiki is available in three capacities: a 250GB version for $75; the 500GB model for $105; and the 640GB for $130. Using our 500GB test drive, we calculate the cost to be 21 cents per gigabyte--which is far below the average cost for an external hard drive. As you can see in the chart below, the Rikiki earns the lowest cost per gigabyte by a 6-cent margin.

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