LaCie Rugged Mini SSD Review

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LaCie Rugged Mini SSD Review

Image source: Mark Pickavance

Portable storage that is expensive but speedy

It can be challenging to tell them apart when shopping for an external drive from LaCie due to their identical designs, names, and the need for scale in their advertising.

Here, we look at the STMF2000400, a 2TB model from the Rugged Mini series that starts with the code STMF.

The innovative and compact design sets it apart from previous LaCie external devices. This hard drive is dust-and water-resistant, with an IP54 rating, and it supports USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 mode for faster file transfers.
A striking orange rubberized bumper surrounds a silver metallic monolith, giving this unit the impression that something may be dropped to support an ejected over-water pilot.

The bumper can be removed if desired, although it is recommended to keep it installed. With dimensions of more than 10 cm in length and 6 cm in width, this drive dwarfs its Crucial and Kingston counterparts. Even though it’s 114 grams heavier, nobody should be concerned about carrying it.

The only things included in the package are the drive and a 20cm USB-C cord. A USB-A cable, adaptor, and carrying case are all missing. It appears low-quality, given the price of the items. It is compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and 4, and we haven’t had any issues with the connection speed. It supports all USB transfer speeds.

With a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 connector and a high-specification PC, you can achieve transfer speeds of up to 2,000MB/s under ideal circumstances.

However, there is a catch: Crucial X10 Pro and Kingston XS2000 provide similar performance profiles. Their size, weight, and, most importantly, price points are all far lower. Despite its incredibly high price tag, this drive is effective, has excellent performance, and has a slightly unusual look.

Pricing and Availability

Image credit: Mark Pickavance

It’s one-terabyte variant starts at $119.99/147.99.  It is currently available. You can buy them straight from LaCie or from online stores like Amazon.

Notably, there is a colossal difference in the prices for this device stated by online retailers and those on the LaCie website. For instance, the 4TB capacity drive lists an exorbitant £719.99 in the UK, but you can get it from the online store Insight for just £505.19. Nearly 30% less is that.

There is no price or stock for the 4TB version on Amazon.co.uk, but the 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB variants are £109.90, £147.99, and £271.99, respectively. Although American vendors are still waiting for supply, B&H lists the 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB options for $119.99, $189.99, and $349.99, respectively, but doesn’t mention the 500GB option.

Looking at the Crucial X10 Pro, the line’s primary rival, we can see that the 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB versions are currently priced at $107.99, $167.99, and $289.99 on Amazon.com, respectively.

Why not get a 4TB Crucial X10 Pro for $18 more than a 2TB Lacie Rugged Mini SSD? That’s a fair question to ask. That is an implausible choice unless orange enchants you.
Even though LaCie is a great brand, the asking price for this SSD is ridiculous.

Design

Image credit: Mark Pickavance

• Rough-looking design reminiscent of inflatable rafts

• Warranty of three years

Lacie’s robust drive is designed like a miniature inflatable raft, which symbolizes that these gadgets are like lifeboats. This and the lack of color variation make it simple to mistake HDD designs for SSD designs or tiny versions of more significant devices.

A rubber plug covering the USB-C connector and a tiny activity LED are crucial to this drive’s IP certification, which surprised your reviewer. This type of plug is usually fastened to mobile devices or rugged computers; however, as it is only a friction fit, it is easy to lose once removed.  The activity LED is sunken into the end of the USB-C cable, making it difficult to view owing to the orientation and length of the wire.

With an IP54 classification, one metric ton of car-crushing resistance, and the capacity to withstand a one-meter plunge, LaCie boasts that the orange bumper will keep the SSD secure. The product brochure states a one-meter drop, yet specific locations (such as the box) say a three-meter plunge.

The Lacie Rugged Mini SSD has the following software: Seagate and Adobe Acrobat, but it has no firmware tool. Among the many external drives offered by different manufacturers, this one promotes a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps Plan for one month.

Unfortunately, this won’t offer you a free month if you’re already paying for it, and it will add $54.99 to your monthly payment for Adobe’s expensive program if you’re not. The other software on sale does not require a subscription to use, but I am still determining the value it offers for most owners.

The LaCie Toolkit automates the process of syncing folders to the drive. You can use it to back up the usual suspects (documents, photos, etc.) or set up a custom set of folders to be permanently protected; Seagate, the parent company of LaCie, includes this feature in many of its external drives.

We have yet to find better software for this purpose, but it gets the job done and is ideal for the drive buyers.
Tools to detect and install firmware updates are unavailable, and there is no option to replicate cloud services. The included software could be more complex, considering the price.

Final Verdict

Although it’s great that it supports USB 3.2 2×2, this is a feature that only a small number of machines have. The Crucial X9 Pro retails for $250 for 4TB or $100 less and offers the top performance of 1000MB/s, while this drive lacks that exact interface. Also, the X9 Pro is more compact, lighter, and easier to transport, with a more extended guarantee. It also has an IP55 rating.

The Crucial X10 Pro 4TB with USB 3.2 2×2 is still $70 less expensive. Only the SanDisk Professional Pro-G40 is more expensive and even less expensive in Europe compared to this offering. Since most other companies provide at least as much, if not more, software utilities and trials, adding them to the equation doesn’t make it fair.

High-quality items should include a USB-A cable or adapter, have a more thoughtful design for the port connector, and be priced competitively. Unfortunately, LaCie did not include these features in the Rugged Mini SSD.

LaCie Rugged Mini SSD are ON SALE now on Amazon! Grab yours and enjoy. 🚀

As an affiliate I get a small fee from Amazon.

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