Trying to make the humble portable hard drive as sexy as possible, LaCie has forged the Mirror, which is covered in mirrored Gorilla Glass 3 to combine aesthetics with ruggedness and scratch-resistance. It comes with a stand made of ebony wood from Indonesia. LaCie commissioned French designer Pauline Deltour to create the Mirror's distinctive looks, then it composed a press release of tortured prose. (Sample sentence: "The human digital footprint is a reflection of our individuality and LaCie Mirror is symbolic of this.")
In terms of more pedestrian concerns like specs, the Mirror offers a terabyte of capacity, sports a USB 3.0 connection, and tips the scales at a half pound (not including the stand). Software that comes with the drive includes LaCie Backup Assistant and LaCie Private-Public, which offers AES 256-bit software encryption. As with many high-design items, the Mirror carries a hefty price tag -- $279.99 when it becomes available later this month through the company's website.
If you value speed over aesthetics, have a computer with a Thunderbolt interface, and don't mind a lot of orange, you might prefer the new Rugged RAID drive instead. Coming with a pair of 2TB drives in a RAID 0 configuration, LaCie claims that it's the twice as fast as other mobile drives, offering up to 240MB/s data transfer speeds using either the Thunderbolt or a USB 3.0 connection. It can also be set up in RAID 1 for data mirroring instead of maximizing performance (slashing transfer speeds roughly in half).
The drive has its own celebrity designer -- Neil Poulton -- and uses a removable orange cover to help it handle drops of up to 5 feet and up to 1 ton of pressure. It's also IP54 rated to withstand dust and water. While using the Rugged RAID drive via USB 3.0 requires the included power supply, a computer's Thunderbolt connection can supply power for the drive in addition to transferring files. Like the Mirror, this drive includes LaCie Backup Assistant and LaCie Private-Public software.
Also like the Mirror, the Rugged RAID costs much more than the typical portable hard drive, though that's not surprising given its specs and target audience of photographers and other professionals who work heavily out in the field. It will run $449.99 when it goes on sale during the first quarter of 2015.