At a Glance
- Stylish and durable design
- good read speeds
- No eSATA or FireWire 800
- only basic versions of backup applications included
- touch-sensitive area is small
LaCie’s Starck Desktop Hard Drive is a great choice for style-conscious consumers, but an eSATA or FireWire 800 connection would give faster transfer speeds. The touch-sensitive panel is a gimmick, but the drive’s durable enclosure and neat footprint make it appealing.
Starck Desktop Hard Drive provides 1TB or 2TB of storage in a stylish casing (we tested the 1TB version), offering good read speeds. The striking case is the work of superstar French designer Philippe Starck. An LED shines the designer’s cross-shaped logo onto the desk in front of the drive.
The Starck Desktop Hard Drive enclosure is made from sturdy 3mm aluminium, which makes the hard drive extremely durable. A small section of the aluminium, mirrored-front fascia is touch-sensitive. The Starck Desktop allows you to customise the touch-sensitive panel to open a program of your choosing. Depending on whether you give a short, light tap or a long, firm touch to the curved button on the end of the drive, the Starck Desktop can be programmed to open different applications.
A set-up assistant launches when you first connect the drive to a computer, allowing you to choose a file system that’s compatible with Mac OS X or Windows. You can also configure a second, 32GB FAT32 partition that will be compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs. Once configured, the external hard drive offers software and manuals suited to the chosen operating system.
Mac users get the basic version of Intego Backup Assistant, with a very simple drag-and-drop interface for backing up and synchronising data. But you can only sync one source at a time. Consequently, Mac users may prefer Mac OS X’s Time Machine instead.
In our testing, LaCie’s Starck Desktop Hard Drive managed higher read speeds than rival drives, and it matched the others when it came to writing data and performing simultaneous read and write operations.