LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt
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At $1,300 (€1,250 in Europe; pricing for the UK and Australia is not yet available, but it converts to £760/AU$1,380) for just 1TB of storage space, the LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 is the most expensive external storage device you can find. But if performance is of the utmost importance, you'll be happy to pay it.
Sporting dual high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) on the inside, the new Little Big Disk is by far the fastest external drive to date. Additionally, its compact and rugged design means you can easily bring that performance with you.
If you need to do data-intensive work such as editing 4K video -- especially doing so in the field -- the LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 will make your life a lot easier. Consumers with less of an extreme need for speed, however, will find those on this list of top Thunderbolt-based storage devices to be great alternatives.
The new LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 looks very similar to its predecessor, with its rugged and distinctive full-metal body design. On the front is LaCie's signature round blue button that works as a power indicator. On the back, there are two Thunderbolt ports and a power port. The drive supports Thunderbolt 2 but will also work with Thunderbolt. Both standards share the same cable and port.
The drive comes with a detachable stand that enables it to work in an upright position, but you can use it without the stand in any orientation you choose.
Thunderbolt 2 external drive
5.5 x 1.6 x 3.3 inches (40 x 140 x 85 mm)
1.4 lbs (620g)
Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later
Intego BackUp Manager Pro, LaCie Private Public
Despite its compact design, the drive is not bus-powered and requires a separate power adapter. The power adapter itself is about half the size of the drive. Still, the whole package is compact enough for you to easily fit it into a backpack or a briefcase.
The new LaCie comes with wall socket converters included for many different parts of the world, as well as a foot-long Thunderbolt cable. This is a welcome change, since with the previous model, you were required to provide your own cable.
Flexible RAID, Mac-oriented
On the inside, the LaCie now sports two 512GB PCI-express Gen 2 SSDs in a RAID 0 setup, as opposed to the regular standard SATA SSD found in the previous model. You can also switch these SSDs into a RAID 1 configuration for better data protection at the expense of reduced performance.