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LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini with Gigabit Ethernet review: LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini with Gigabit Ethernet

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MSRP: $199.99

The Good Gigabit Ethernet port; USB port for connecting additional hard drives; UPnP media server; backup software included.

The Bad Read/write times could use some improvement.

The Bottom Line The LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini is a decent NAS drive for a good price. If you need more features or faster performance, look elsewhere.

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6.8 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
  • Support 7

The LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini is a compact network-attached storage device. It is designed for the home user who doesn't need high performance: it delivers middle-of-the-road performance when reading and writing files over a local network. With a Gigabit Ethernet port, a USB port for direct connection, UPnP-based media server functionality, and a second USB port for storage expansion, the drive offers a wide range of connectivity and uses. At $300 for the 500GB version, it's fairly priced compared to the competition. If you need faster data transfer speeds and don't need the media serving capabilities, consider the comparably priced Ximeta NetDisk Portable. And if you'd like even more features such as RAID capability and a built-in print server, take a look at the slightly more expensive (per-gigabyte, that is) HP Media Vault MV2010.

  • Capacities: 250GB, 320GB, 500GB
  • Capacity of test unit: 500GB
  • Number of drives/bays: 1 drive/installed
  • Max capacity: n/a
  • Hot swap/cold swap: n/a
  • Drive speed: 7,200rpm
  • Cache: 16MB
  • Dimension: 1.7x6.8x6.3 inches
  • Notable design features: none
  • Connection options: Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports (one for direct connection to a PC, the other for expansion)
  • OSs supported: MS Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista; Mac OS 9.x/10.2 and up; Linux 2.4 and up
  • Software included: LaCie IP Configurator, LaCie 1-Click Backup Software
  • Any additional features: Connects with hard drives and cameras via USB
  • Service and support: One-year warranty; toll-based phone support available Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST; e-mail support site offers driver and software downloads and FAQs
CNET Labs' throughput tests revealed acceptable read/write performance. Among the NAS drives we've tested, the LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini placed somewhere in the middle. It wrote a 5GB folder of mixed files in 18 minutes, 21 seconds, and read back the same folder in 20 minutes, 10 seconds. The similarly priced Ximeta NetDisk Portable completed the same tasks in 10 minutes, 49 seconds, and 9 minutes, 53 seconds, respectively. Connected directly to our PC test bed via USB, the LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini wrote a 10GB test folder in 39 minutes, 24 seconds, and read back that same folder in 18 minutes, 36 seconds. Either connection is adequate for streaming multimedia content around the home, including high-definition video. The only limitation is your network speed. (It's important to note that USB connection on the LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini communicates using the Internet Protocol. It allows other networked devices to see the drive as a networked drive separate from the computer it's connected to.)
Transfer speed tests (min:sec)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
5GB read test (min:sec)  
5GB write test (min:sec)  
Ximeta NetDisk Portable
HP Media Vault MV2020
LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini with Gigabit Ethernet
Maxtor Shared Storage Plus
Western Digital NetCenter
Note: *Tested in RAID 0 mode **Tested in RAID 5 mode

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