LaCie Porsche P'9230 review
Apple hasn’t put USB 3 on any of its desktop Macs yet, but it can still be useful to have a nice big desktop drive waiting back at home or in your office sometimes. Besides, we can probably assume that there’s an iMac update in the pipeline that will include USB 3 in the not too distant future (although Apple has dropped hints that we might have to wait until 2013 for a new Mac Pro).
LaCie’s Porsche drive is a fast USB 3 desktop drive that provides more storage space than you can get from a smaller portable drive. The smartly designed drive unit has a solid aluminium casing that looks good alongside your Mac or MacBook, but also provides good, solid protection for the drive as well.
The Porsche drive is available in 1Tb, 2TB, and 3TB sizes, priced at £114.99, £144.99 and £189.99 respectively. That should be more than enough storage for most home users, and even quite a few business users too. The 1TB model that we tested performed very well, managing to back-up our 5GB batch of test files in just 50 seconds, which makes it one of the fastest USB 3 drives we’ve seen recently.
The software side of things is a little untidy, though. The Porsche drive will work with Time Machine, but LaCie also includes a program called Intego Backup that provides a wider range of features than Time Machine. This is a complicated piece of software, though, and certainly lacks Time Machine’s ease of use.
There’s also a program called Private-Public, which allows you to partition the drive and create a private, password-protected partition for your most important files. However, there’s no mention of this program in the printed manual and we had to root around on the CD in order to locate a PDF manual – which then told us that we needed to download and install yet another piece of software in order to get it working.
The software provided with the Porsche drive feels rather un-Mac-like, so it won’t really be a strong selling point for Mac users. However, the Porsche drive still provides a fast, efficient back-up drive with plenty of space for your music and video collection, or your important work files.