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

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)

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)
Samsung S2 Portable
Hitachi SimpleTough
Samsung G2 Portable

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

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