Lacie Rugged Drive. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
I’ve been using a USB 3 external hard drive to backup my Macbook Pro for a while now, and have been pleased with its reliability and fast data transfer speed. I also love that it powers itself via the USB port, letting me live a little more power cord free.
When I received the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt SSD drive for review, I thought, “well, it’s pretty, but how much better can it be?” It’s just as small, powers itself via Thunderbolt (or USB) and has plenty of space on it, just like my current drive.
Then I ran a few tests and pulled up a drive speed test app on my Mac. I was blown away by the speed difference. This is one blazing fast hard drive. And, yeah, it still looks great.
Life is a blur of cool gear here at the Cult of Mac offices. We put it all through rigorous trials, but it’s like living in a fast-spinning revolving door of flashy accessories, cool bags and high-end accoutrements. Some of it gets dropped like a lying girlfriend as soon as the next sexy thing comes along, but sometimes we develop long-term love affairs with certain bits of kit. The gear featured in our monthly Lust LIst roundups is the equipment that’s made the grade over the long haul: These are the items we couldn’t live without.
Ona’s The Chelsea
There’s something about all the smart compartments in camera bags that works even if you’re not actually toting around a camera. So Ona’s Chelsea ($370) is just the thing: This capacious bowler bag offers protected spaces for a DSLR, up to three lenses, your keys and stuff, plus an iPad or notebook. But I packed it with a 13-inch MacBook Pro, a pear (the lens dividers are perfect for keeping your snacks unbruised), The Economist and all the cords, headphones and chargers carried by a modern-day scribe. One thing: The size and saffiano leather (that’s the grainy type that Prada favors for long-wearing briefcases and the like) can be a little Insta-ma’am if you don’t dress it down. -- Nicole Martinelli
Apple Magic Trackpad
The name is ridiculous -- total Steve Jobs hyperbole. It’s actually embarrassing to say out loud. But the Magic Trackpad ($69) is actually kinda magical. Sitting on your desktop, it works better than any mouse. Tracking on it is intuitive and easy. But the magic is in the gestures. Once you get used to them (there’s a bit of a learning curve), you begin to wonder how you ever surfed the Web without two-finger swipes. -- Leander Kahney
Chrome Industries Excursion Rolltop 37
This giant duffel bag of a backpack grew on me, both literally and figuratively. I have to admit at first I was like, “Meh.” The Chrome Industries Excursion Rolltop 37 ($160) has no bells or whistles: no media pocket, no hidden compartments, no velco closures. It has a laptop sleeve and super-nice loop carrying straps, but it’s about as basic as a bag gets. What the lightweight bag lacks in features, though, it more than makes up for in massive gear-swallowing goodness. I keep tossing more and more stuff into this bag and it just keeps grinning back, always ready for more. -- Jim Merithew
When you have a high-pitched voice like mine that sounds silly and squeaky on any recording, you need all the help you can get. The Rode Podcaster microphone ($369) makes anyone’s voice sound rich and sonorous. OK, I made that up, but the Rode’s audio quality is not to be beat. The entire CultCast team uses Rode Podcasters to produce the best Apple conversation you’ll hear all week long. Since we switched from lesser microphones, soundcheck is a lot less painful. The Rode is a serious piece of pro-level audio equipment at a podcaster’s price. -- Leander Kahney
Mission Workshop’s The Orion
It was pouring buckets, but I didn’t care: I was pedaling with a huge smile on my face, because any time on the bike is way more fun than time spent on the bus or BART. Plus, I was protected. I was wearing Mission Workshop’s The Orion ($415): The hooded waterproof coat is seam-sealed, pit-zipped and cut perfect in the sleeves. No water was getting in and the bone-chilling wind was being held at bay. I don’t really think about getting my upper body wet anymore -- the jacket is just there, doing its job, while I go about grinning like a school boy. Ride on. -- Jim Merithew
Lacie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series
Simple. Elegant. Rugged. What more needs to be said? The Lacie Rugged series is the standard by which all other portable storage drives are judged, and now they’ve got Thunderbolt support ($229 for 1 TB model). If you are on the run and need to back up everything, this is a no-brainer. -- Jim Merithew
Teva Pivot MTB Shoe
Teva doesn’t make the Pivot MTB shoe ($150) anymore. They actually killed their entire bike line late last year. Find a pair. Buy them. Seriously. -- Jim Merithew
Ferrero Pocket Coffee
Smart people usually don’t stash espressos in their coat pockets, what with the stains and the blisters and all. But with the Ferrero Pocket Coffee, caffeine fiends are no longer tethered to the espresso bar. These thumb-size miracles wrap a satisfying liquid dose of inky Italian coffee inside a dark chocolate shell. Pop one and you’ll perk right up. Soon you’ll be buying them by the case ($38 for 60 pieces). -- Lewis Wallace
Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Chain
If the San Francisco bike thieves steal my whip, at least I’ll know they really wanted it. This will be a small consolation for me: I’ll cry a little less knowing I did everything I could to make those scumbags’ crime a difficult task. How to thwart the thievery? After visiting countless bike shops and online forums I settled on the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit ($175). It’s as close as I could get to a safe, for it is a well-known fact that if the bitches want to steal your steed there is nothing you can actually do to stop them. I am happy I can leave the beefy lock at the office, since I’m not sure I am man enough to haul this behemoth back and forth to work everyday. I still double-lock my bike with a u-lock and take my front wheel with me. Here’s to being safe and trying my best to get them to steal someone else’s chariot. -- Jim Merithew
BookBook for iPhone 5
There are only two things I carry with me every single day -- my phone and my wallet. Best of all, my wallet is also my phone case. The BookBook from Twelve South ($60) looks like an old, leather-bound pocket book. Slots inside hold several credit cards and my ID. My BookBook is totally beaten up -- I keep it in my back jeans pocket -- but it’s lasted really well. It protects my phone better than any case I’ve had and it gets tons of comments. Everyone says they wish they could ditch their wallet too, but they have too much stuff in it. I thought that too, until I jettisoned everything but a couple of cards. I haven’t looked back. -- Leander Kahney
Today LaCie announced its new lineup of hard drives, including the Fuel, a wireless 1TB hard drive that works with the Seagate Media iOS app. This is the first collaboration between the two storage companies since Seagate bought LaCie last year.
Besides the Fuel, LaCie is also unveiling three new hard drives at CES, including the Little Big Disk portable drive with Thunderbolt 2.
Just like those isolated soldiers that used to be discovered from time to time thinking that WWII was still on, years after it had ended, there’s a designer hidden deep in the offices of Porsche who thinks we still need to use USB thumb drives. Yes, it looks beautiful, just like Hiroo Onoda’s doubtlessly crisply-pressed uniform, but that doesn’t make it right.
LaCie, the fantastic data storage company that was recently acquired by Seagate, has updated its d2 external hard drive with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. It comes in a sleek, minimal, fan-free, aluminum shell that looks great next to any Mac.
With speeds of up to 180MB/s, the only real downside to this drive is that it’s not solid state. LaCie is selling both 3TB and 4TB models.
LaCie's 2big drives let you transfer files over a Thunderbolt connection.
Seagate has bought French high-quality digital storage company LaCie for a reported $186 million. LaCie CEO Philippe Spruch will become head of Seagate’s consumer storage products division. LaCie makes Mac-friendly peripherals, and Seagate has been a long-time titan in the data storage business.
LaCie's new 2big drives show at least somebody got the Thunderbolt memo
It’s taken a while, but it seems that the dried up tear-duct that was the supply of Thunderbolt accessories is about to turn into a torrent of high-speed, daisy-chainable tears of relief. Hard drive supremo LaCie will at last sell you a 2big Thunderbolt Series external drive.
We’ve been anticipating an entire range of new Thunderbolt-equipped gadgets since Apple announced the technology with its latest line of MacBook Pros, and today, the first high-speed external hard drive featuring Thunderbolt technology has hit the Apple Store.
Apple’s not ready to throw their hat into the USB 3.0 ring just yet. As Steve Jobs made abundantly clear in an email last week, Cupertino’s doesn’t see USB 3.0 taking off, at least until Intel starts officially supporting it… and evidence suggests that Apple might avoid USB 3.0 entirely in favor of Light Peak.
But what if you want USB 3.0 on your Mac now? Well, Apple’s not serving up official drivers yet, but LaCie’s stepping up to fill the void: they’ve just announced USB 3.0 drivers for their line of solutions.
To get USB 3.0 on your Mac, first you’ll need to buy one of LaCie’s cards: either a $49.99 USB 3.0 PCI Express Card or the $59.99 USB 3.0 ExpressCard/34, both of which will bring a couple of USB 3.0 (and backwards compatible USB 2.0) ports to your Mac Pro or MacBook. Then install the free driver and you’re ready to pick yourself up one of those blindingly flash USB 3.0 external drives that are all the rage right now.
Not a bad solution for Mac Pros, but ExpressCards can be fairly irritating to have hanging out of a MacBook, and obviously this won’t help you if you’ve got a MacBook Air, Mac mini or iMac. Still, if you’re committed to being on the cutting edge, LaCie’s happy to take your cash and make it happen.