LaCie's powerful d2 Quadra hard disk

Performance: A

Features: A

Ease of Use: A+

Value: A



Pros: Elegantly styled disk packs a terabyte, works with PCs and Macs

Cons: It's for seriously space-hogging applications, such as graphics and videos, not lightweight ones.


Image: LaCie d2 Quadra hard disk

Ooh la la, LaCie! The company's d2 Quadra external hard
disk holds a terabyte of data in a speedy, elegantly designed,
feature-packed drive. Its flexibility, because it works with both
Macintosh and PC platforms, is merveilleux, as we say
' Paris.


And it's really easy to set up. I've strung
Christmas tree lights that were harder to get working than the
Quadra. It's not just marketing-speak when LaCie's
calls the Quadra 'plug and play.' You literally plug it
in, connect either a USB 2.0, FireWire or eSata link to your PC,
press the 'On' switch, click on the LaCie drive icon,
and as the French say, voil', you're in.


The Quadra comes unformatted, so you have to decide whether you
want to format it into a full terabyte, or partition it into half
Macintosh, half Windows drives. The preloaded software helps you
format the hard disk according to your needs.


LaCie is famous for designing products with that certain je
ne sais quoi
. The Quadra adds an interesting visual element
that doubles as thermal protection. Its aluminum casing is embedded
with ridges that provide 60 percent more surface area than if it
was covered with smooth metal.


Its compact footprint, 1.7 inches wide by 6.3 inches high by 6.8
inches deep, keeps it from adding to office clutter. Weighing a
little more than 3 pounds, it won't take up more space than
an office dictionary. You can stand it upright, stack it or
rackmount it.


Perhaps best of all, it works with both Macintosh and Windows.
As we used to say in French class, chacun a son
got
, and the Quadra gives you that choice. It's
compatible with Windows 2000, XP and Vista, requiring a 500 MHz or
higher processor; it also works with Mac OS 10.2.8 or later, and G4
and G5, Mac Intel 500 MHz processor or higher and a minimum 128M
RAM with 512M or greater recommended. It's compatible with
Apple Time Machine, which automatically backs up your Mac system
files, applications, music, photos, movies and documents. It also
comes bundled with Retrospect backup software from EMC, again for
both PC and Mac users.


We connected it via a USB link to our Dell OptiPlex 6X 280 PC
with an Intel 3.20-GHz CUP running Windows XP.


We formatted the drive for a full terabyte. When we transferred
about a gigabyte worth of data from the Dell PC to the Quadra, it
transferred the data at a rate of 197 Mbps, which puts it near the
top performance scores when compared to a recent review GCN did of
stand-alone external hard drives (http://www.gcn.com/print/27_14/46462-1.html?page=1).
The trip back to the PC was even faster; the Quadra transferred the
gigabyte back to the Dell PC at a transfer rate of 226 Mbps, again,
putting it near the top of its class. Bien fait, LaCie, as
my French professeur used to say.


At $349.99, the d2 Quadra is about the going rate for a terabyte
standalone external drive, but the Mac-Windows duality of utilities
and speedy transfer rate give you extra bang for your
l'argent.


Plus it's just plain chic. The d2 Quadra is going to make
the tchotchkes on your desk look shabby and unhip. You're
going to have to rethink your whole cubicle style.


In this class, LaCie gets la 'A.'


LaCie, 503-844-4508, www.lacie.com

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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