LaCie Porsche Design P'9223 Slim review

LaCie’s SATA SSD-based designer solution is not all about the looks – this drive can easily exceed 400 MB/s in large-file reads.

The French boutique peripherals brand LaCie has a long tradition of working with named designers to make bolder statements than we see in most computing technology. With the bizarrely named P’9223 Slim we also see a Porsche Design badge applied. That’s not an endorsement from the sports car marque, but the Swiss design studio founded by the 911 designer after leaving the brand bearing his name in 1972.

The Porsche Design P’9223 Slim SSD is based on a 2.5in SATA solid-state drive, a slim 7mm type from Micron, housed in a simple natural aluminium extrusion. The flash drive and its electronics have been inserted from the side, leaving black plastic trim exposed along both its longest edges.

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Its very simplicity creates a certain elegance, and is still only 11mm high for the complete device. Everyday use may take the edge of its clean looks though, as without any feet it must lie flat on the desktop, and we noted that our used loan sample was a little scuffed and soiled around its white metal frame. You may want to keep it in soft case to prevent it marking other objects too, as its hard metal corners may inflict marks if carried loose in a bag.

This solid-state drive proved something of speed demon, not unlike the prestigious motoring brand with which it looks to be associated. Judged by its maximum sequential write speed, it actually fell behind the headline pace of even some keyring-sized thumbdrives, averaging a so-so 196 MB/s for large file transfers. But sequential reads were the fastest on test from this group at around 443 MB/s, thanks to the SATA-USB interface’s support of UASP.

Small random files were not written as quickly as some models though, averaging 70 MB/s for all usual sizes up to 1 MB size.

As with most of its storage products, LaCie also offers a one-year 10 GB trial for the Wuala online storage service with which it merged four years ago. For data security, LaCie offers its own Private-Public.app encryption solution and this requires another third-party program to be installed first, OSXFUSE.

OUR VERDICT

LaCie’s SATA SSD-based designer solution is not all about the looks – this drive can easily exceed 400 MB/s in large-file reads. The Micron SSD inside was a PCA award-winner two years ago, and is still plenty quick enough for use in a USB 3.0 enclosure today.

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