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LaCie Rugged 80GB portable hard drive

Won't get lost in fog...

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Exclusive Review LaCie was one of the first hard drive vendors to offer truly mobile products: compact external drives powered by the host computer so the only accessory you need is the connector cable. The down sides have always been a higher price than desktop, mains-powered parts, and usually lower capacities and speeds. But for many users - and not just notebook owners - the minimalism of mobile drives has proved compelling...

lacie rugged all-terrain hard drive

These days, the market's a crowded one. After pitching drives designed by the likes of FA Porsche, LaCie's latest mobile drive, the Rugged, is something of a throwback: like the original PocketDrive, it's wrapped in a rubber surround, the better to help it resist shocks, knocks and bumps. LaCie hasn't ignored its more recent fascination with industrial design, but in this instance that could work against it - the Rugged is bright orange.

In keeping with the name, the Rugged comes in a tan and green box that suggests outdoor, military usage. It describes the product within as "all-terrain". Had the Rugged come in a green colour - or even camouflage styling - it might have worked, but bright, almost fluorescent orange? No thanks. At least it won't go missing in fog, I suppose...

But let's not judge the book by its cover: it's what inside that counts, surely? Internally, the Rugged has 80, 100 or 120GB of raw, unformatted storage capacity. The disk platters spin at 5,400, 7,200 and 5,400rpm, respectively. LaCie says each as "8MB or greater" cache memory, suggesting some buyers may luck out with a 16MB model. The 80GB model I tested contained a Western Digital Scorpio WD800VE 2.5in drive with 8MB of cache.

lacie rugged all-terrain hard drive

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