Upside: LaCie calls the Ethernet Disk Mini plug and play and claims that users need no prior networking experience. The disk doesn't need drivers or a server. A Web-based administration tool allows you to change share levels and permissions, allowing different users varying levels of access to the data on the drive. And while the drive is on the network, you can use the USB port to daisy-chain a second external drive for additional storage.
Downside: Though LaCie is calling this drive portable, at 5.5 pounds, it's not exactly a featherweight. At CNET, we love networked drives that include print servers, but maybe LaCie's designers thought that would negate the easy-to-use aspect of the Ethernet Disk Mini.
Outlook: As long as the hard drive is dependable, this could do well. Consumers like small drives (they take up less desk space), and networked drives are insanely popular right now. Other than that, it seems like a fairly standard network drive. Check back for a full review.