LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt series 500GB SSD review

November 13, 2014

LaCie-Rugged-USB-3.0-Thunderbolt-series-500GB-SSDLaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt series 500GB SSD at a glance:

  • Super-fast read and write speeds
  • Rugged protective cover
  • SSD means more resilient to knocks
  • Mac and PC-compatible
  • Price: £369.99
  • Website:

With both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connectivity, it’s speed where this particular iteration of LaCie’s Rugged hard drive really stands out. Compatible with the fastest currently available Mac and PC interfaces, speeds of up to 385Mb/s are attainable, according to LaCie’s own tests.

I found I could transfer the data from a full 32GB SD card in less than 3mins, which meant more time spent out shooting.

Benchmark testing of the USB 3.0 connection using sequential as well as random read and write methods revealed that our LaCie Rugged managed an average sequential read speed of 331.6Mb/s and an average write speed of 283Mb/s. Thunderbolt clocked up a blistering 391Mb/s single read peak and an average read speed of 360Mb/s and write speed of 355.6Mb/s.

LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt series 500GB SSD – key features


Being a solid-state drive, the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt is completely silent and is more resilient to knocks as it doesn’t have a spinning disc

Bus powered

The advantage of bus power is that this drive doesn’t need an additional adapter as it can draw power from the Thunderbolt or USB connection


When protected by its removable rubberised sleeve, LaCie says this
drive should survive being dropped from a height of up to two metres

LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt series 500GB SSD – verdict

I used the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt series during an expedition and was confident my images were safe, despite the drive being thrown in and out of aeroplane holds and bounced around on long walks. The only issue was with the USB 3.0 connection into the hard drive. While the Thunderbolt lead is built-in, the USB 3.0 cable is loose fitting and can fall out easily.

SCORE: 4 out of 5

You may also wish to consider:

Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+ 256GB


Price: £429.95
Another Thunderbolt-capable solid-state hard drive worth considering is the Elgato, said to be capable of transfer speeds up to 420Mb/s. Dust and splash proof, this drive is also compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.

G-Technology G-DOCK ev


Price: £449.95
The G-Dock ev features two removable USB 3.0 drives that slip into bag pockets for use in the field. On return, the drives connect to a Thunderbolt-capable dock for fast, up to 260Mb/s, data transfer.

Buffalo HD-PATU3S MiniStation Thunderbolt Portable SSD 256GB


Price: £246
This sleek, modern-looking bus-powered portable SSD fits into a pocket and is compatible with both Macs and PCs. It has USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports for ultimate speed.

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