The LaCie Mobile Drive (2022) is a slightly redesigned version of the external hard drive that we reviewed in March 2019. Available in capacities ranging from 1TB ($79.99) to the 5TB model ($169.99) tested here, the new drive features a tasteful silver and black aluminum case. It’s easy to set up and use, and the LaCie Toolkit software allows for backup, recovery, and mirroring, although the touch of style comes at a slightly higher cost than other external hard drives.
The design: a vision in silver
Measuring 0.4 by 3.5 by 4.8 inches (HWD), the LaCie Mobile Drive (2022) has the same dimensions as the 2019 model, but trades the latter’s wedge shape for a more traditional plate with rounded corners. The flat top and bottom of the device are silver, with a ruffled black band that I started to think of as moon buggy treads around the sides, punctuated by a USB-C port and a status light on one of the short sides.
(Credit:: Kyle Cobian)
A LaCie logo and the caption “design by neil poulton” are centered on the top of the drive. It seems appropriate to call the designer, as LaCie has done with some other drives, because aesthetics are a big part of the Mobile Drive’s appeal.
(Credit: Kyle Cobian)
In addition to the capabilities listed below, LaCie offers an Apple-exclusive model of the Mobile Drive (2022) that offers hardware-based encryption and comes in a different color (space gray).
The drive is formatted in exFAT, so it works right out of the box with both Windows machines and Macs, each of which comes with a Start Here utility to get you started. It can also connect to iPads.
The downloadable LaCie Toolkit includes backup, restore, and mirroring tools. You can back up manually or choose a set-and-forget operation, where your content is constantly backed up whenever something changes. The mirroring function allows you to synchronize files in a folder on your computer with a folder on the disk. Whatever you put or delete in one mirrored folder will be reflected in the other.
The Mobile Drive comes with a three-year warranty and three-year access to Rescue Data Recovery Services.
Testing the LaCie Mobile Drive 2022: A Combination of Speed Results
We ran our usual BlackMagic and file copy benchmarks from a 2016 MacBook Pro using the drive’s native exFAT, then reformatted it to NTFS for our Crystal DiskMark 6.0 and PCMark 10 Overall Storage tests using our at Intel X299 based testbed.
The LaCie’s sequential read and write speeds, as measured by Crystal DiskMark, were slightly above average, but not exceptional for a platter-based consumer drive. The score in PCMark 10, which measures a drive’s ability to perform a range of daily storage tasks, was relatively low.
As expected, the Mobile Drive turned out to be much slower than an external solid-state drive, but you pay a lot more for an SSD of comparable capacity.
(Credit: Kyle Cobian)
When style matters
The 2022 iteration of the LaCie Mobile Drive offers essentially the same product as the 2019 original with a different and equally pleasing aesthetic, as well as the company’s trusted backup, recovery, and mirroring software. If you don’t mind a little less eye-catching ride, the Editors’ Choice is award-winning WD My Passport comes with capacities up to 5 TB and offers hardware-based encryption as well as backup and restore at a lower price. The version we tested didn’t have a USB-C port, although the more recent WD My Passport Ultra does.
LaCie Mobile Drive (2022): Bottom (credit: Kyle Cobian)
Still, the LaCie Mobile Drive effort is a solid storage upgrade if you like the look; the speed differences won’t matter much unless you spend your days commuting huge files on and off USB drives and waiting for the results. (In that case, you should buy an external SSD anyway.) With its stylish look, the 2022 Mobile Drive is a good way to convey a professional look or just keep a decorative desktop. It’s sturdy and easy to use, although you’ll pay a small premium for it.
LaCie Mobile Disk (2022)
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