LaCie Rugged eSATA (500GB) review: LaCie Rugged eSATA (500GB)

Next, we'd like to see the LaCie Rugged series slim down in size. The drive is quite light at just 8.7 ounces for the eSATA model, but its body is massive, bulky, and not very easy on the eyes. It might have earned best in show early in its career, but the checkered pattern and "construction orange" color are so early 2000s.

Cost per gigabyte
As you can see from the chart below, LaCie charges a significant premium for the protective nature of the drive, although it's still 2 cents per gigabyte more than the Hitachi, which offers better drop protection and the same three-year warranty as the LaCie Rugged series. If you can treat your drive just a little nicer, you'll benefit from a far cheaper cost per gigabyte with a nonrugged drive like the $89 500GB Samsung G2 Portable.

Cost per gigabyte
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Performance
The LaCie Rugged eSATA offers a USB 2.0 connection as well as the Power over eSATA port, and though it performed better than the competition in both areas, the difference doesn't justify the exorbitant cost of the drive if you're just using it for USB 2.0. On the other hand, the numbers below reflect the throughput speed benefits of Power eSATA.

Whereas standard eSATA drives typically see around 50 megabytes per second, according to LaCie, it rates the Rugged's transfer speeds at up to 90MBps and our lab tests confirm this achievement with a consistent 95.83MBps. We're anxious to see when other manufacturers like Hitachi or Iomega will respond with their own line of Power over eSATA external drives.

Performance test (in megabytes per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
eSATA read   
eSATA write  
USB read   
USB write   
LaCie Rugged eSATA (in MBps)
95.83 
87.64 
30.08 
25.02 
Samsung S2 Portable
28.89 
25.26 
Hitachi SimpleTough
28.6 
22.3 
Samsung G2 Portable
28.46 
25.01 

Service and support
LaCie backs the Rugged hard disk with a three-year limited warranty that includes free Web-based resources, in-house technical support, and worldwide repair or replacement coverage. In addition, LaCie also offers an Advanced Care option that can be purchased separately that lets you swap out a defective product without returning it to the company first. Unfortunately, the Advanced Care plan does not extend the original warranty period.

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

LaCie Rugged eSATA (500GB)

Part Number: 301905

MSRP: $159.99

500 GB model discontinued.
Check out the 1 TB model.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
  • Interface Type Hi-Speed USB / eSATA-300
  • Capacity 500 GB
  • Spindle Speed 7200 rpm