LaCie Porsche P'9223 Slim review

Apple’s belated adoption of USB 3.0 in the latest Macs and MacBooks is good news for Mac users, as it means that we no longer have to pay over the odds for Firewire or Thunderbolt drives anymore.

LaCie’s new Porsche P’9223 Slim is a good example, as it’s cheaper than most Thunderbolt drives – including LaCie’s own Rugged Thunderbolt Series – while still providing very impressive performance. 

Like the other models in LaCie’s Porsche range, the P’9223 Slim has an attractive slimline design, and is constructed out of sturdy aluminium. It measures just 15mm thick, and weighs about 180g, so it’s easy to slip into a case along with a MacBook when you’re on the road.

LaCie pays good attention to detail with the software side of the P’9223 Slim. When you connect the drive for the first time LaCie’s Setup program asks if you want to format it for use with Macs or PCs, and also gives you the option of creating a ‘share’ partition that can be used to transfer files between Macs and PCs. The drive also includes a copy of Intego Backup Assistant, and LaCie’s own Private-Public software, which provides 256-bit data encryption to protect your files. 

The drive’s performance is very good. Even though it only has a USB 3.0 interface, it produced performance almost identical to that of the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt drive, so you’re really not sacrificing much in the way of performance by going without the Thunderbolt interface. Of course, solid-state drives are still far more expensive than conventional hard drives – there’s a version of the P’9223 Slim that includes a 500GB hard drive for only £80 – but the P’9223 was about twice as fast as most of the USB 3 hard drives that we’ve seen recently, so it does provide strong performance to justify that price.

OUR VERDICT

If you need an affordable, high-capacity storage device then a conventional hard disk is still the best option. But if you’ve got a MacBook that has an internal SSD drive and you want an external back-up drive that provides equally high performance then the Porsche P’9223 Slim is one of the best and most affordable SSD drives currently available.