Till final week, the listing of firms making visually gorgeous exterior arduous drives started and ended with one title: LaCie. Partnered with revered industrial designers together with Philippe Starck, LaCie has launched extra drool-worthy equipment than another firm within the Mac area — and that’s saying one thing. Quite a few design successes led to LaCie’s acquisition by arduous drive producer Seagate, and on the 2015 CES, their mixture bore fruit: the LaCie model now has one other lovely arduous drive known as Mirror ($280), and Seagate debuted a designer arduous drive known as Seven ($100) — the thinnest 500GB transportable drive ever made.
Though they’re cosmetically completely different and arguably designed to swimsuit completely different customers’ wants, Mirror and Seven have so much in frequent, so we’re taking a look at them collectively on this overview. Learn on for pictures and our hands-on take a look at outcomes.
To get the technical particulars out of the way in which, Mirror and Seven are each USB 3.0 drives with backward compatibility for older USB 2.0 Macs and PCs. Mirror is offered solely in a 1TB capability, and Seven is completely a 500GB drive, each utilizing conventional laptop-sized arduous drive mechanisms slightly than strong state reminiscence. Assessments of each drives with a USB 3-equipped Retina MacBook Professional yielded learn and write speeds within the 105MB/second vary, versus USB 2 speeds between 31-37MB. These should not the quickest USB 3 drives you’ll ever see, however they’re method faster than the pre-USB 3 drives that most individuals are utilizing, transferring small recordsdata within the blink of an eye fixed.
Of the 2 drives, Mirror is closest to a standard LaCie product. Through the years, LaCie has sought to cover arduous disks inside enclosures that don’t look boring on desks, notably together with the techno-organic Philippe Starck-designed Blade Runner and the silver Christopfle Sphere — both one may have been featured in a very good sci-fi film. Although it’s easy, the Pauline Deltour-designed Mirror equally appears like a chunk of recent artwork.
It’s a primary silver field measuring 5″ lengthy by 3.15″ tall by 0.5″ thick with mirrors on each facet, seemingly designed to not be touched after it’s positioned on its included stand. For cargo, LaCie covers every of its mirrors with a chunk of plastic; you pull them off, use an included cleansing material to remove your fingerprints, then gawk on the fully reflective field. Mirror doesn’t mix in with a desk; slightly, it would simply sit there ready to draw your gaze or encourage dialogue. A small LaCie badge on the USB port edge is the one energy indicator; it glows white when powered on, and flashes when the drive’s being accessed.
Mirror ships with a lightweight grey material USB cable and an ebony wooden stand, the previous arguably somewhat too brief at solely 18″, and the latter equally an unusually natural distinction for the silver monolith. The stand has been designed with one notch for Mirror and a bigger groove for a pen or pencil. Whereas the wooden is definitely good, we’d prefer to see LaCie supply further – and extra trendy – stand choices sooner or later. Do you have to wish to stand Mirror up tall slightly than broad, you are able to do so, attaining an iPod/iPhone-like recline with the USB cable protruding of its prime. It’s solely on this place you can truly use Mirror as a private mirror; in broad mode, you’ll at most see reflections of your chest.
There are two different items within the Mirror field: a cleansing material — the worth of which is self-evident given the drive’s susceptibility to fingerprints and mud – and a material drawstring carrying bag. Although Mirror is small, it’s considerably shocking that LaCie is pitching it as value carrying round, because you’ll have to continuously wipe it down whenever you deal with it. That stated, all of its surfaces are coated in Gorilla Glass for cover, so it’s not going to get roughed up except you drop it. No rubber toes or different items are included, so it’s greatest left resting on the carrying bag whenever you’re touring with out the stand.
Seagate’s Seven is an equally spectacular achievement, however for completely completely different causes. Solely seven millimeters thick, it’s truly smaller than an iPhone 6 Plus — at 3.25″ broad by 4.8″ tall by 0.28″ thick, it’s a touch thinner, so much shorter, and solely somewhat wider. The design appears a lot like an inside arduous drive that some individuals who noticed Seven at CES thought that it was inside — solely a recessed blue energy/standing mild on the highest and a USB 3.0 port on its adjoining edge trace in any other case.
Apparently, although Seven might be a safer selection for portability than Mirror, Seagate doesn’t embrace a carrying case with this mannequin: as a substitute, Seven is created from resilient stainless-steel, which feels as strong and substantial as could be in individual. Attributable to its measurement — a current-generation iPod touch-like thinness and top, plus roughly an inch of width — it may possibly slot in nearly any bag pocket that will maintain an iPod or iPhone, with out a case. Like Mirror, it contains an 18-inch material cable, which is equivalent apart from its jet black coloration.
Of those two drives, the one which’s simpler to advocate on uncooked price-to-performance is the Seagate Seven. For a cheaper price, it delivers the identical speeds through the identical USB 3.0/2.0 interface, an impressively smaller profile, and an extended guarantee — three years versus Mirror’s two. However Mirror is a relatively lovely various, filled with additional frills and twice the storage capability. Is it value almost thrice the worth? As with all designer merchandise, you’ll should reply that for your self, however it’s definitely a actual standout in contrast with 95% of the Mac equipment on the market right now. Should you like shiny new issues, there’s not a shinier or newer arduous drive round.
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