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LaCie Rugged Secure Review: Tough Build, Tough Choice

Seagate’s premium LaCie Rugged Drives are probably one of the most iconic series of storage devices to arrive in the past few years. Clad in a protective bright orange sheath, the LaCie Rugged Secure doesn’t bring much in the way of advancement, or technological edge. Instead, it aims to provide answers for a select group of users who might need its unique safeguards in terms of physical durability.

The LaCie brand brings a wide selection of products, all uniform in orange rubber-clad aluminium form. I received the LaCie Rugged Secure, which is offered in a single 2TB capacity hard disc drive with an advertised transfer speed of 130 MB/s via a single USB-C 3.0 port.

The brand also carries the Rugged USB-C, which is a 5TB variant, and the Rugged USB-C, which is a 4TB variant. These are all rated to 1.2M (4ft) drop resistance, and crush resistance rated at a 1-tonne car. They’re also rain resistant, and have two-year warranties. There are also two 4TB RAID models with 240MB/s transfer speeds, along with two Rugged Thunderbolt models, which feature hybrid HDD and SSD storage, and support the Thunderbolt protocol. 

The LaCie Rugged Secure measures in at 18.7mm x 86mm x 135.1mm, and its durability feels immediately apparent. We weren’t going to drop it for testing, but its distinctive orange bumper probably plays an important role in ensuring the Rugged Secure survived up to its claimed 1.2m of drop resistance. It’s possible to remove the bumper, which reveals the solid shiny grey aluminium chassis of the LaCie itself. With virtually no flex in the body, the LaCie is also advertised to be crush resistant. Again, we were unable to test this.

What’s unique on the LaCie Rugged Secure is its new AES hardware encryption, along with its handy USB-C port. Used with my MacBook and iPad Pro 2018, it was a great convenience to only have to carry a single USB-C to USB-C cable to handle all my data management needs. The LaCie does come with a (very orange) USB-C to USB-C and USB-A 3.0 to USB-C cable for use on legacy and more modern devices alike.

To test transfer speeds, a 17.02GB media folder containing video, image and audio files took 2:40 to read (106 MB/s read speed), and 3:32 to write (80.3 MB/s write speed) on the LaCie Rugged Secure. Measured against my more run-of-the-mill Seagate 4TB Expansion drive, which took 2:33 to read (111 MB/s read speed) and 3:20 to write (85.1 MB/s write speed), the LaCie Rugged Secure performs on par, despite costing slightly more, while offering half the storage space.

This means the additional features in terms of I/O, durability, and security must stand out enough to warrant the smaller storage space and higher cost at the same time. The LaCie Rugged Secure is meant of a pretty specific demographic of users.

With its physical resilience, the LaCie Rugged Secure offers added peace of mind by including two years of Seagate Rescue Data Recovery Services plan with a valid password. Data recovery can cost a pretty penny – this two year plan could potentially avert a catastrophic loss of vital data, especially since you have to fork out a large sum of money whether or not the data recovery is successful. 

The 2TB LaCie Rugged Secure is offered on Lazada at SGD 219, while the Seagate 4TB Backup Plus comes in at SGD 169.

Ian Ling
Ian is the resident Tech Monkey and Head of Content at VR Zone. His training in Economics and Political Science is at the basis of his love for journalism and storytelling. A photographer by passion, and an audiophile by obsession, Ian is captivated by all forms of tech that makes enthusiasts tick.

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