LaCie Mirror Portable Hard Drive review: Yes, storage drives can be beautiful

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MSRP: $279.99

The Good The LaCie Mirror Portable Hard Drive has a unique and stylish reflective design. The drive performs well and includes helpful software.

The Bad The drive's surface attracts fingerprints too easily, and the price is way too high for just 1TB of storage space. The two-year warranty is short.

The Bottom Line Though fast and easy to use, the LaCie Mirror Portable Hard Drive's attention-seeking design is the only reason to pay the premium price.

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7.2 Overall
  • Setup 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 7
  • Support 6

Covered completely in scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, the LaCie Mirror Portable Hard Drive looks more like a thick compact or a fancy desk accessory than a storage device. But with 1TB of storage space and fast performance, the Mirror has more to rely on than just looks.

Not surprisingly, though, all of that beauty (no, I never thought I'd call an external drive beautiful) comes at a price. You'll shell out $280 for the privilege of backing up your data while checking your teeth after that poppy seed bagel. (Pricing and availability for the UK and Australia have not yet been announced; directly converted pricing would be about £183 or AU$346.) The mirrored surface also attracts dust and fingerprints by the ton and the amount of light it reflects can be annoying.

That's why I'd recommend the Mirror only for a select group, like if you have cash to burn, you place a premium on style or your favorite mythical character is Narcissus. It is a conversation piece, no doubt, but you'll be just as well served by a more practical, and more affordable, portable drive. For my top picks, check out this list.

The Mirror comes in very nice gift-ready packaging. Josh P. Miller/CNET

Unique design, giftlike packaging

Similar to the Christofle Sphere that came out last year, the Mirror is LaCie's latest signature storage device that has a unique design, unlike storage devices you've seen.

LaCie says the Mirror is the result of its collaboration with French designer Pauline Deltour to demonstrate the idea that in this day and age, the data we have is a reflection of who we are. And taking this idea quite literally, LaCie covers the Mirror with Corning Gorilla Glass in all of its sides. This means when you hold it, not only you can see yourself, but folks around you can see themselves, too.

Other than that, the Mirror is a 2.5-inch-based standard portable drive that supports USB 3.0 (USB 2.0 compatible.) It's quite compact, measuring just 3.1 inches by 5 inches by 0.5-inch (80 x 128 x 13 mm), and weighs only half a pound (230g).

LaCie Mirror specs

Drive type: 2.5-inch-based portable drive
Capacity:  1 TB
Interface:  USB 3.0 port (USB 2.0 compatible)
Dimensions:  3.1 x 5 x 0.5 in (80 x 128 x 13 mm)
Weight :  0.5lb (230g)
System requirements:  Windows Vista or later / Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Software:  LaCie Private-Public, LaCie Backup Assistant
Encryption supported: AES 256-bit software encryption
Warranty: Two-year

The Mirror comes in very nice, gift-ready packaging that opens up to show the drive neatly placed on top, you then can slide open the second layer to find the ebony wood base and a foot-long USB 3.0 cable. And there's more -- underneath there's a third layer that hold a carrying pouch and a cleaning cloth.

The moment I picked up the Mirror, I realized how the rest of the accessories would come in handy. The Mirror is a fingerprint and dirt super magnet. I couldn't hold it in my hands for a longer than a few seconds before getting it completely smudged. Basically unless you wear a glove, there's no way you can touch it without leaving marks on its surface.

That said, you'll definitely need the pouch to carry it around and the cloth to clean it once in a while. In the end, you might just want to leave it on your desk permanently, and this is what the wood base is for. Super shiny, the Mirror is something you want to look it rather than picking it up.