A few weeks ago Lacie introduced a number of new portable storage solutions including the Rugged SSD, the Rugged SSD Pro, and Rugged BOSS SSD Drives. This review will focus on the Rugged SSD and hopefully, we can get to the two other units on future videos.
Both the Rugged SSD and the Rugged SSD Pro use NVME technology to produce ultra-fast transfer speeds. The Rugged SSD is officially rated at 950MB/s which is almost twice the speed of our current fastest portable SSD that we tested here earlier this year – the LaCie Portable SSD. The Lacie Rugged SSD Pro is even more impressive with an official rated speed of up to 2800MB/s using a Thunderbolt 3 connection (the non-pro version uses USB 3.1 Gen 2 which goes up to 10Gb/s, but not Thunderbolt 3 which maxes at a theoretical limit of 40Gb/s).
So let’s take a closer look at the design and build of the Rugged SSD.
The Rugged SSD NVME is very similar to the design of the original rugged series of drives by LaCie with the orange color and rubber cover but there are a number of key differences. The most obvious one is the size. This drive is small, about 10cm (4″) by 6cm (just over 2″), much smaller than the mechanical rugged drives and even smaller than the Lacie Portable SSD that we have tested.
Unlike some of the older rugged drives, this one has no connected cable and instead it comes with two very short cables in the box – a USB-C to USB-C and a USB-C to USB-A cable. We are guessing that these short cables are mainly for laptops but if you are using a desktop-like we do – it is really uncomfortable and you will need to find a longer cable.
Another small difference is the location of the USB-C connector on the drive which is on the long side rather than the shorter side like in other LACIE drives, we are not sure what made the company change that and it is a bit strange aesthetically, although functionally it doesn’t really matter that much.
The unit has an IP67 rating for extreme dust and water resistance, 3m drop and two-ton car crush resistance (at least on paper, we didn’t perform any crush tests), as well as Seagate Secure self-encrypting technology for project confidentiality and 5 year limited warranty plus a Rescue Data Recovery Services plan, which is actually really nice.
Lacie Rugged SSD – IP67 rating
Performance is where this drive really shines. We performed two types of tests: a synthetic test using the Crystal Disk Mark 6 software and a real-world test where we transferred about 5GB of video files to the drive and back from our test computer that has a build-in ultra-fast Samsung 970 NVME drive.
The Crystal Disk Mark scores are very impressive, actually, the best that we have seen on any drive that we tested so far with 912MB/s read and over 965MB/s write (interesting to see a faster write compared to read, this is typically the other way around).
Our real-world test results were not as high but still very impressive with over 612MB/s from the computer to the drive and about 816MB/s from the drive to the computer, both using a USB-C to USB-C cable. Interestingly, results using a USB-C to USB-A cable were pretty much similar (note that we have USB 3.1 Gen 2 on our motherboard so your mileage may vary).
The Lacie Rugged SSD NVME holds up to its promise – it shows very impressive performance both in synthetic benchmarks, but more importantly in real-world transfer tests. It is small, compact and rugged and has no obvious drawbacks when it comes to its operation, maybe aside from the short cables it comes with.
Outstanding performance Lacie Rugged SSD (NVME version)
The only thing that you need to consider here is its price. Selling for $300 for the 1TB version (there are also 2TB and 500GB versions of this drive) it is over $100 more expensive than the LaCie Portable SSD which might not be as fast but is still a fantastic performer. On the other side of the performance and cost range you have the Rugged SSD NVME Pro version which cost $100 more for the same capacity (update: there are some interesting deals on it at B&H now), but at least on paper provide over 2.5 times the performance (something that we are hoping to test here soon as well), so you should decide for yourself which drive fits your needs and budget.
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