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Review: LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:47 am    Post subject: Review: LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub Reply with quote

Review: LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub
Tuesday April 11, 2006

When LaCie announced its new LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub for the Mac mini back in January, we couldn't wait to get our hands on one. Well, after a few delays, we were able to get our hands on the 250GB model that will be released in June, and boy was it worth the wait.

The LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub comes packaged in a blue, silver and white box. In the box, you will find the enclosure itself, 9" Type A to B USB 2.0 cable, 25" Type A to B USB 2.0 cable, 9" 6-pin to 6-pin FireWire cable, 25" 6-pin to 6-pin FireWire cable, Power Supply Kit, and LaCie Utilities CD-ROM with User's Manual.

The LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub has a brushed aluminum body and white plastic top. It stands 1.77" tall X 6.5" wide X 6.5" deep and perfectly matches the Mac mini's form factor. The coloring of the enclosure also perfectly matches the Mac mini. On the front of the enclosure, there is an embossed LaCie logo and white LED status light.

The top of the enclosure features a unique four-cornered crown design. The four crowns basically lift the Mac mini off the top of the enclosure. This allows for better air circulation and cooling to occur between the two units. The crowns also hold the Mac mini in place and keep the two units aligned.

On the back of the enclosure, you will find the power button, fan exhaust vent, power receptacle, one USB 2.0 port, one USB 2.0 uplink port, one FireWire 400 port, and security slot. The 300GB and 500GB models include a thermo-regulated smart fan for extra cooling. The 250GB model does not include a fan, so its exhaust vent is open.

One of our only gripes about the LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub is the size and location of the power button. The button is small and hard to access, when reaching around from the front of the enclosure. We were also a little disappointed to see that LaCie opted for an extra USB 2.0 port on the back, instead of a FireWire 400 port. We feel like a FireWire port would have made more sense for stacking additional LaCie minis, since they include an open FireWire port on the back for daisy-chaining additional devices.

On the left side of the enclosure, you will find two vertically mounted FireWire 400 ports. On the right side, there are three horizontally mounted USB 2.0 ports. We cannot stress how handy these side ports are for making temporary connections. They allow you to connect devices like your iPod, Digital Camera, and DV Camera without digging around the back of the Mac mini. We are also happy to report that these five ports remain functional when the unit is turned off.

The bottom of the enclosure is also constructed out of metal and includes extra vents for cooling. It also features four non-skid pads to prevent the unit from sliding.

What about performance and operation? We couldn't be happier with the performance of the LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub. In our file transfer tests, the performance of the 3.5" 7200RPM hard drive was consistently fast. We ran an Xbench 1.2 disk test on our 250GB model and compared the scores with the internal drives in the new Intel-based Mac minis and 1.42GHz G4 Mac mini. You can see the results here. We are also happy to report that the hard drive is quiet while running. Next to the LaCie mini, the LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub is probably the quietest external hard drive designed for the Mac mini we have tested.

Overall, we can recommend the LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub and give it a score of 4 out of 4 stars. It's probably one of the best accessories for the Mac mini we have tested. LaCie will be rolling out the LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub over the next three months. The 500GB model will begin shipping this month. The 300GB and 200GB models will begin shipping in May and June, respectively. Pricing is $199 for the 250GB model, $229 for the 300GB model, and $429 for the 500GB model.

Pros:
- Fit and finish
- Quiet operation
- Excellent hard drive performance
- Side USB 2.0 and FireWire ports offer excellent expandability
- Four-cornered crown designed helps with cooling
- Perfect color match with Mac mini
- White cables and power supply

Cons:
- Small power button



http://www.123macmini.com/accessories/reviews/121.html


Last edited by admin on Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:48 am; edited 5 times in total
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picaman
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a nice enclosure. My only gripes are cosmetic--I hate the massive logo on the front. And does the case color match the Mini?

Confused

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the "old" one, color is slightly different (darker), but one can blame it on the light, such a small difference. The laCie logo doesn't bother me, but that might be different from person to person. One thing is the led which differs much in intensity from the mini itself. Also a pity is the noise and heat if you use the LaCie mini as boot disk.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:59 am    Post subject: LED Reply with quote

I don't have one so I can't comment on the brightness of the LED, but at least it's in the right place (unlike a MiniStack, with its weird long centered blue one).

I also don't like the logo in the front...

And I agree that the unit needed two FireWire ports in the back (to stack two drives or more). And isn't 3 USB ports on the side a bit much?

In any case, I find ports on the sides to be weird (even though I have a miniStack v2).
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What brand of HD does the new LaCie use?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I considered getting a LaCie, until I discovered their 250GB model doesn't have a fan.

This is a serious impediment for those who live in warm climates, and may not want to have their air-conditioning turned on.

Using it as main boot drive will cause quite a heat build-up that may well shorten the life of your HD.

In the end I chose the M9DX, which does have a fan, and keeps the Seagate 250 GB HD happy. And my wallet happier still.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what happens when the Mac Mini is put to sleep? does the lacie go to sleep too? do lacie drives transfer faster than maxtor or western digital drives with USB 2.0?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's about time! I was going to buy one of these a few months ago but they never came out. This was when I was deciding whether or not to guy the stealth upgrade mini or wait for the Intel models. Yea, it was that long ago! Laughing I still might be interested in the 300GB model.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
What brand of HD does the new LaCie use?

Our 250GB model has a Maxtor drive.

Edit: The model number is L250R0
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian wrote:
Fox wrote:
What brand of HD does the new LaCie use?


Our 250GB model has a Maxtor drive.


I'm using a WD HD in a Mini Stack and my xbench scores are much better.

I'd like to see all these enclosures benchmarked using the same hard drive on the same machine.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuji257 wrote:
I'd like to see all these enclosures benchmarked using the same hard drive on the same machine.


Here's the next best thing. Xbench 1.2 disk test scores for the MicroNet miniMate 250GB, NewerTech miniStack V2 250GB, and LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub 250GB with a 1.66GHz Core Duo Mac mini.

Disk Test Scores
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:13 am    Post subject: 500GB version quieter or louder than miniStack v2? Reply with quote

I finally got my head wrapped around the voluminous Mini-form-factor HD choices and have it narrowed down to the miniStack v2 or the new LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub (hereafter "LmHDH").

I need a 500GB drive to be able to back up all the machines on my network. I would be installing a Seagate ST3500641A in a miniStack v2 0GB model (or maybe an 80GB model with the hard drive removed so I can get their software bundle), or else getting the LmHDH 500GB model.

The most important thing to me is quiet. Has anyone gotten their hands on an LmHDH 500GB model yet? I'm very curious how the fan and drive noise would compare between it and the miniStack v2, at idle and under load.

One other question: Anyone know what Mac OS X software is on the LaCie Utilities CD-ROM? Is it just the 1-Click Backup Software?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:48 am    Post subject: Re: 500GB version quieter or louder than miniStack v2? Reply with quote

Dan Harkless wrote:
One other question: Anyone know what Mac OS X software is on the LaCie Utilities CD-ROM? Is it just the 1-Click Backup Software?


My LaCie mini came with SilverKeeper. You can bet that the "LmHDH" Wink comes with it too. If it doesn't, you can download it on LaCie's site.

http://www.lacie.com/silverkeeper/
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks nice, but you would think that LaCie could come with better product name. Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my 300GB LaCie Mini Hard Drive & Firewire & USB Hub this morning and had it out of its box and under my Mac mini in no time. Instructions for setting it up are straightforward and concise. The LaCie disk icon showed up on my desktop without a hitch.

The accompanying disk contained the manuals and utilities - LaCie 1-Click Backup, SilverKeeper Software, SilverLining software, MacDrive for Windows PS and Acrobat Readers.

I've actually managed to use up almost all of the available USB ports! I have a Griffin iMic, Epson R300 printer and Miglia TVMini connected to my Mac Mini with one 'free' port for my card reader / USB stick. The iSight camera, the only (other) Firewire device I have, is plugged in on the other side (& continues to work just fine as far as I can see).

Will hopefully install the backup software over the weekend and really start using some of that 300GB!
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