The LaCie Mobile Drive (2022) is a slightly redesigned version of the external hard drive we reviewed in March 2019. Available in capacities from 1TB ($79.99) to the 5TB model tested here ($169.99), the new drive has a tasteful silver and black aluminum chassis. It’s easy to set up and use, and its LaCie Toolkit software allows for backup, restore, and mirroring, though its touch of style comes at a slightly higher cost than other external hard drives.
Design: A silver vision
Measuring 0.4 x 3.5 x 4.8 inches (HWD), the LaCie Mobile Drive (2022) has the same dimensions as the 2019 model but swaps the latter’s wedge shape for a more traditional slab with rounded corners. The device’s flat top and bottom are silver, with a wavy black belt encircling it like what I imagine is the moon’s buggy steps, interrupted by a USB-C port and a status light on a short side.
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(Credit:: Kyle Cobian)
A LaCie logo and the legend “Design by Neil Poulton” are centered on the drive. It seems appropriate to call out the designer, as Lacy has done with other drives, because aesthetics are a big part of a mobile drive’s appeal.
(Credit: Kyle Cobian)
In addition to the capabilities listed below, LaCie offers an Apple-exclusive Mobile Drive (2022) model that offers hardware encryption and is available in a different color (space gray).
The drive is formatted in exFAT so it works out of the box with Windows machines and Macs, each of which gets the Start utility here to get you up and running. It can also connect to iPads.
The downloadable LaCie Toolkit includes backup, restore and mirroring utilities. You can back up manually or choose set-and-forget operation, where your content is backed up continuously only when something changes. The mirror function allows you to synchronize files from a folder on your computer with a folder on the player Anything you put in or remove from 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.
LaCie Mobile Drive 2022 Review: Quick Results Mix
We ran our usual BlackMagic and File Copy benchmarks from a 2016 MacBook Pro using the drive’s native XFAT, then reformatted it to NTFS for our Crystal DiskMark 6.0 and PCMark 10 Global Storage tests using our Intel X299-based test bed.
The LaCie’s sequential read and write speeds, as measured by Crystal DiskMark, were slightly above average, but not exceptional for a consumer platter drive. Its score on PCMark 10, which measures a drive’s ability to perform a range of everyday storage tasks, was relatively low.
As expected, the mobile drive was much slower than an external SSD, but you’ll 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, including the company’s familiar backup, recovery, and mirroring software. If you don’t mind a slightly less snappy drive, the WD My Passport Editors’ Choice comes in capacities up to 5TB and offers hardware encryption plus backup and restore for less. The version we tested did not have a USB-C port, unlike the new WD My Passport Ultra.
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 difference won’t matter much unless you’re transferring large files to and from the USB drive and waiting for the results. (In that case, you should still get an external SSD.) With its sleek look, the Mobile Drive 2022 is a good way to give a professional look or just have a decorative desktop. It’s robust and easy to use, though you’ll pay a little extra for it.
LaCie Mobile Drive (2022)
The 2022 version of LaCie’s Mobile Drive offers a cool, wavy new design, but otherwise little has been changed from its 2019 predecessor. With a handy backup tool.
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