LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt Review: The Best Thunderbolt Hard Drive

By Sam Biddle on at

If your computer has a Thunderbolt drive, odds are it's been pretty neglected. Some external storage options are good, but nothing is a no-brainer. Until now, that is. LaCie's vivid orange drive is the best way to back up files, superfast.


What Is It?

A £170 SSD hard drive that connects via supremely-quick Thunderbolt or USB 3.0.


Who's it For?

Anyone who needs to back up data, and wants to do it quickly. So, almost everyone.



Lovely and modern. Most bright orange things aren't appealing, except for candy corn, but this cold-metal-meets-cartoon-bumper look totally works.

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt Review: The Best Thunderbolt Hard Drive


Using It

Connect the drive to your computer via Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. It'll mount, like any other external hard drive.


The Best Part

No need for any external power.


Tragic Flaw

It's still significantly more expensive than traditional HD storage.


This Is Weird...

Does a drive with zero movable parts need to be ruggedised?


Test Notes


  • Shockingly, the LaCie drive actually lived up to its advertised speeds: 376 MB/sec read, 196 MB/sec write. That's really, really fast. Fast enough to back up entire music albums instantly, and probably enough speed to handle your entire backup catalogue in a few minutes.
  • It comes with a Thunderbolt cable.
  • It's light and the ports are entirely accessible.
  • Given how miniaturised Thunderbolt and SSD drives are, this seems a little bigger than it should be. Still, it's compact enough to throw in a bag.


Should You Buy It?

If you need backup storage (and you do), you might be willing to spend extra dough for the fastest possible speeds. In that case, yes, this should be the one you buy. It's the best Thunderbolt drive I've used yet—one of the best external hard drives, period. And it makes Thunderbolt finally feel worth it.

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt/USB 3.0
• Storage: 120 GB (also available in 256 SSD and 1 TB HDD)
• Input: Thunderbolt, USB 3.0
• Size: 3.5 x 5.5 x 0.97 in.
• Weight: 260 g
• Price: £170
• Giz Rank: 4.5 stars