LaCie Grand 1TB External Hard Drive (301897KUA) Review

LaCie is famous for its product design, but outer beauty is nothing without support of inner product quality. Today, I will reveiw LaCie’s new 1TB external hard drive, LaCie Grand.

By the first glance of this external hard drive, I have a very weird feeling. If you click on the photo on the left and enlarge it, you should be able to see the external hard drive a bit better. In stead of regular box-shape, the front of this external hard drive is a “mask”; also, there is a dot (the light indicate the hard drive is on) on the “mask” that looks like a drop of tear.

When I open the package, I surprisingly found LaCie actually gives out 3 different plugs for use in Asia, Europe and North Ameria:

Like I said, LaCie has one of the best designer teams in electronics device area. This Grand external hard drive is designed to have Resistant aluminum casing to protect your the drive. It looks very elegant but it helps when you accidentally drop the drive (at least it won’t fall apart :D).

(Photo sources:

Let’s take a look at the specification provided on LaCie’s website:

Item Number : 301897KUA
Capacity : 1 TB
Interface : USB 2.0
Interface Transfer Rate : Up to 480Mbits/s (60MB/s)
Software : LaCie Backup Assistant
LaCie Setup Assistant
Size : 208 x 115 x 44 mm / 8.22 x 4.5 x 1.7 in.
Weight : 1.13 kg / 39.8 oz.
System Requirements : Windows® XP, Windows Vista™, Windows 7/ Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5, 10.6 or higher
Minimum free disk space: 600MB recommended
Box Content : LaCie Grand Hard Disk
USB 2.0 cable
External Power Supply
Quick Install Guide
Comments : *1TB (Terabyte) = 1000GB. 1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending upon operating environment (typically 5–10% less).
Warranty : 2-Year Limited Warranty

As for today, I will run speed tests with AJA System Test and Xbench on Macintosh OS 10.6 Sow Leopard.

The Grand external hard drive is said to have USB Boost that will enhance the speed by 33%.

Like all other manufactures, LaCie put 480Mbit/s as the maximum speed; yet, we all know this is not true. In reality, USB transfer speed is much slower than this theory value(57.2MB/s). According to this website, typically, external drives on USB 2.0  interface can have “about 20 – 25 MB/s on average.” as transfer rate.

My test using AJA System Test to write a 4GB file with Vido Frame Size “1920×1080 10-bit” results “Write: 20.8 MB/s and Read: 22.7 MB/s”. If you don’t understand what the values mean, I can let you know that the $10 external enclosure could give me the value “Write: 24.3MB/s and Read: 26.7MB/s”. For external hard drive with that price, I think the actual result is quite disappointing.

While testing it using Xbench, I got some numbers even below 20 MB/s.

Post Note:

I like how this external drive is enclosed in an aluminum case; it helps to release the heat and it really provide one extra protection when accidents happen. However, the test result didn’t give me the confidence especially I am going to get this hard drive as my photo backup. I wish LaCie could spend more resource on building solid drives other than simply improving the appearances of its products.

1 Comment

  1. Never buy these harddrives… I bought two and both are now broken =( One has Seagate disk inside and second has Hitachi but both are broken at the same way so it’s not the disk problem… Just leave Lacie Grand disk on the shop.

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