Storage firm LaCie kicked CES 2014 off with the introduction of three very interesting external drives: the updated Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2, the unique LaCie Sphere, and the wireless LaCie Fuel.
The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 is a major update over the original model, first unveiled in late 2011. While sporting a similar chassis, the new model offers compatibility with the Thunderbolt 2 specification, providing up to 20 gigabits per second of maximum bandwidth. Whereas the original model utilized two SATA-based mechanical or solid state hard drives, faster drives were necessary to keep up with the Thunderbolt 2 bandwidth. So the firm turned to PCI Express-based SSDs, like the ones found in recent Macs. With two 512 GB PCIe SSDs, the Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 offers up to 1,375 megabytes per second of bandwidth all in a compact, quiet, and portable enclosure. Pricing has yet to be announced, but look for the drive to hit shelves in the first quarter of the year.
While the Little Big Disk offers the most technically exciting options, from a design perspective nothing beats the LaCie Sphere. This unique external USB 3.0 drive is exactly what its name implies: a sphere. We’ve never seen anything quite like it, and while its glossy and reflective design may not appeal to everyone, we’re sure that many design-focused consumers will be itching to replace their blocky backup drives with this beauty. Many details remain to be seen, such as the type of internal storage, but the Sphere will go on sale in a 1 TB capacity for $490 later this month.
Last up is the LaCie Fuel (stylized “FUEL”), which represents LaCie’s first foray into the wireless storage market. Designed primarily as a companion for Apple’s iPad, the FUEL gives users untethered storage for movies, music, photos, and documents that can be accessed via Wi-Fi from iOS devices and Macs up to 150 feet away. It features a 10-hour battery life and will be available “soon” in a 1 TB capacity for $199.99.
With CES 2014 officially kicking off on Tuesday, there will be many more product announcements to come. Stay tuned to TekRevue all week, as we’ll be covering the most interesting items from this year’s show.