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LaCie Rikiki hard drive review: LaCie Rikiki hard drive

LaCie Rikiki hard drive

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Justin Yu
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Justin Yu

Associate Editor / Reviews - Printers and peripherals

Justin Yu covered headphones and peripherals for CNET.

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4 min read

After we reviewed the LaCie Starck Mobile hard drive in 2009, we started thinking that LaCie puts more emphasis on the look and design of a product rather than on its core functionality. The Starck Mobile felt clunky and couldn't keep up with the competition in both transfer speeds and cost per gigabyte. Luckily, LaCie redeems itself with the Rikiki external hard drive. It's available in three capacities, and a solid performer and even earns the lowest cost per gigabyte among our four competing drives. Whittled down to a much smaller case than the Starck Mobile had, LaCie has earned Rikiki a new fan, and we recommend it to anyone in need of more on-the-go storage capacity.

7.3

LaCie Rikiki hard drive

The Good

Lowest cost-per-gigabyte drive in its class; aluminum case looks sexy and protects the drive; two-year warranty.

The Bad

No FireWire port; average transfer speeds; short USB cable.

The Bottom Line

LaCie's Rikiki mobile USB hard drive is an elegant storage solution that comes in three sizes up to 640GB. Its simple design exudes timeless style in a very affordable package. As long as you're not a stickler for fast transfer speeds, the LaCie Rikiki will make a worthwhile addition to your mobile arsenal.

Design and features
LaCie certainly has no problem with the design of its products. We give its creative forms like the LaCie IamaKey USB flash drive and the classic Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive high marks in the design category, and the Rikiki is no different.

The Rikiki is one of the smallest external hard drives we've tested at just 4.3 inches tall by 2.9 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick. There are no flashy graphics or awkward rubber wings to protect the drive. Instead, LaCie went minimalist and encased the 2.5-inch hard drive with a dent-resistant brushed-aluminum casing that not only looks stylish but also protects data from the hazards of everyday transportation. The drive is bare except for a USB 2.0 port and a small LED on top that lets you know when the drive is in action. Finally, LaCie learned its lesson from the Starck Mobile and dropped the weight of the Rikiki to a manageable 158 grams.

Drive type 2.5-inch external USB flash hard drive
Connector options USB 2.0
Size (LWH) 4.3 inches by 2.9 inches by 0.5 inch
Weight 158 grams
Available capacities 250GB, 500GB, 640GB
Capacity of test unit 500GB
Operating systems supported Windows 2000, XP (32- and 64-bit), and 32-bit Windows Vista
Software included Genie Backup

The drive includes a 6-inch USB cord in the box that works fine on laptops with accessible USB ports; however, desktop users might need to buy a longer cable. We used our standard desktop test system to test the Rikiki's transfer speeds and found ourselves wishing for the integrated USB cable that seems to have disappeared from LaCie's drives after the Starck Mobile.

The drive automatically launches the LaCie setup assistant when you plug it into your computer for the first time. This application gives you a brief overview of the different partition and formatting types, including NTFS, HFS+, and FAT32. It then formats the drive according to your needs. The drive also includes a copy of the Genie Backup Assistant, a simple backup tool that uses folder-based backup and incremental restoration points to keep your data safe. Mac OS and 64-bit Windows users are out of luck, as the software only works with Windows 2000, XP (32- and 64-bit), and 32-bit Windows Vista.

Cost per gigabyte
The Rikiki is available in three capacities: a 250GB version for $75; the 500GB model for $105; and the 640GB for $130. Using our 500GB test drive, we calculate the cost to be 21 cents per gigabyte--which is far below the average cost for an external hard drive. As you can see in the chart below, the Rikiki earns the lowest cost per gigabyte by a 6-cent margin.

Cost per gigabyte

Performance
As always, we performed a simple data transfer test and compared the LaCie with four external drives in a similar price range. According to our stopwatches, the Rikiki drive read data at 25.12MBps and wrote data at 23.26MBps, just a little slower than the Transcend StoreJet 25f, but that's not to say that the drive is slow.

A simple numbers comparison shows that the differences are so minor that you most likely won't be able to tell unless you're transferring a 10GB or larger file.

Speed test via USB (in megabits per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
LaCie Rikiki
25.12 
23.26 
Fujitsu HandyDrive
27.9 
22.5 
Hitachi SimpleTough
28.6 
22.3 

Service and support
LaCie backs the Rikiki hard drive with a two-year warranty that covers parts and labor. LaCie offers telephone support weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, but requires a tool to connect. You can also create a support ticket on the LaCie Web site. A two-year warranty is acceptable for an external hard drive, but we always prefer three years to ensure the physical integrity of a portable device made to withstand the abuse of daily transport.

7.3

LaCie Rikiki hard drive

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Performance 7Support 7
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