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Wrapping a rubber bumper round an external drive casing adds more than protection, it adds style.

The drives, capable of withstanding a fall from table height, are designed by Scotish celebrity designer Neil Poulton and come in any colour you like (as long as its orange that you like).


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“When I was a kid I was crazy about a Sci-Fi show on TV called “Captain Scarlet.” Captain Scarlet was a puppet. But Captain Scarlet was indestructible. He drove the SPV (Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle) a futuristic 10 wheel-drive, high-speed tank that rolled over everything, each of its wheels cushioned by an independent axle and suspension system. The SPV was characterized by its front bumper, which wrapped around the car’s nose like the toe of a classic 70s basketball shoe. The bumper was made of solid white rubber and was heavily grooved to look like segments of an orange. The SPV was tough. It was rugged. It, like its pilot, was indestructible,” explains Poulton.

The LaCie Rugged Hard Drive features a triple interface which is designed to protect data against everyday bumps and bruises. Powered by a FireWire or USB connection  the drive is capable of transfer speeds up to 800Mbits/s and has the advantage of not requiring a dedicated power source.

Inside the drive is mounted on four independent suspensions, but on the outside the unit is surrounded with a drop resistant rubber bumper, has a warnished, scratch-protected aluminium shell and sports three prices from $399 for an 80GB 5400rpm drive up to $689 for a 100GB 7200rpm. A 120GB 5400rpm option is priced at $649.

LaCie says the maximum safe ‘drop-height’ is 90cm when the drive is not operating and warns users should no drop it while it is in use.

In another product announcement LaCie has also called on Poulton to design the casing of what it describes as its most powerful portable hard drive ever.

The Little Big Disk has a capacity of 320GB, a triple interface  (2x FireWire 800, 1x FireWire 400, 1x Hi-Speed USB 2.0) like its Rugged sibling and is said to be the fastest handheld device available with RAID 0 speed of up to 80MB/s via FireWire 800.

Targetted at the style-conscious content/design markets, Olivier Mirloup, LaCie Senior Product Manager says the “LaCie Little Big Disk is the perfect companion to Apple PowerBooks, especially suited for audio/video editors who need a compact but speedy editing workstation on the road.” Not available until second quarter pricing runs from $699 for a 160GB version to $1499 for the 320GB model.

Little Big Disk

Rugged All-Terrain Drive