The LaCie d2 External Blu-ray drive is a decent though expensive burner. It supports all optical media formats except HD DVD. The LaCie d2's performance beats that of Sony's newest internal offering, the BWU-100A, though at just under $1,400, the LaCie is about $300 more expensive than the BWU-100A -- and we're not sure the added external capability is worth that. Unless you're a video professional who absolutely requires HD burning capability, our advice is to wait until prices drop by several hundred dollars and write speeds go up.
In our CNET Lab tests, the LaCie d2 Blu-ray drive performed on a par with other Blu-ray drives we've tested. Technically speaking, though, the d2 had the edge based on its higher bandwidth connection. For our tests, we used the FireWire 400 port. Ripping an 8.47GB commercial DVD movie took 23 minutes and 12 seconds. Burning that image to a DVD+R DL took 20 minutes and 50 seconds. A 4.48GB mixed data file took 10 minutes and 23 seconds to burn to DVD. It took the drive 4 minutes and 13 seconds to rip a 746MB commercial CD. Burning the CD image to a CD-R took 4 minutes and 37 seconds. When it came to HD content, the LaCie d2 essentially matched the Sony BWU-100A internal drive, though the d2 won by a very slight margin. Burning a BD-R with 23GB of mixed data files took 1 hour, 39 minutes, and 46 seconds, where the BWU-100A took 1 hour, 40 minutes, and 11 seconds. Ripping that same file took the LaCie drive 4 hours, 56 minutes, and 5 seconds; the BWU-100A took 5 hours, 2 minutes, and 22 seconds.