Quite apart from the looks, the drive ships already formatted in Apple's HFS+. Windows users will need to reformat the drive - easy enough to do, and you'll recover a little more usable storage capacity - or use the bundled 30-day demo of MacDrive, a Windows-based tool for reading Mac disks.
LaCie also includes a free back-up app with the drive, 1-Click Backup, in both Windows and Mac OS X forms. It simply copies your home folder - or a custom collection of folders - across to the drive, date stamping the target folder accordingly. It doesn't do a sequential back-up - in other words, copying only those files that have changed since you last ran the software - so you'll need to delete back-up folders manually as time passes. 1-Click Backup is fine for individuals, though there's no in-built automation to ensure your data's copied even if you forget to press the button. With the ability to choose which folders are archived, it's much easier to do back-up with 1-Click than it is to drag and drop all of them manually.
I first tried the LBD out on an 867MHz PowerBook G4 with 640MB of RAM and a Firewire 400 port. Copying over a 1.2GB folder full of JPEG images yielded a mean data transfer speed of 12.73MBps - 33 per cent faster than an old 20GB Pocket Drive could manage. Duplicating the data on the disk was faster still, with the LBD delivering a transfer rate of 15.78MBps to the Pocket Drive's 6.52MBps.