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Monday, January 06, 2014, 09:26 am PT (12:26 pm ET)

LaCie unveils new Apple-focused storage lineup with Wi-Fi, Thunderbolt 2 options

French hardware maker LaCie on Monday took the covers off of two new external storage solutions, a Wi-Fi-enabled model designed to work with iOS devices and a Thunderbolt 2-equipped drive that the company says allows professionals to stream and edit 4K and 3D video.

LaCie Fuel


Dubbed the LaCie Fuel, LaCie's new wireless external hard drive connects to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch units by creating its own private Wi-Fi network. Up to five devices can join the network simultaneously and access the drive's content using the Seagate Media iOS app.

According to LaCie, the Fuel's 1 terabyte capacity is enough to store 500 movies, 160,000 songs or 190,000 photos, and a built-in battery can power the drive for up to 10 hours on a single charge. The Fuel is also AirPlay-enabled, though it is unclear whether the drive itself provides this capability or if it is dependent upon the Seagate Media app.

Files can be added to the Fuel by connecting with a Mac either wirelessly or via USB, where the Fuel appears as a normal external drive. Dropbox users can link the Fuel to their Dropbox account to automatically mirror data when added to the cloud storage service.

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2


LaCie's second new product is the aptly-named Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2, which combines two 500-gigabyte solid-state drives in a striped RAID 0 configuration with Apple and Intel's second-generation Thunderbolt 2 technology. A svelte aluminum chassis completes the package, and LaCie says a new thermoregulated fan "only turns on when necessary and produces nearly zero noise."

The diminutive drive — one of the first to sport Thunderbolt 2 connectivity — is capable of sustained read speeds of 1,375 megabytes per second, "several times faster" than any mobile USB 3.0 hard drive, according to LaCie.

Announced less than one month after Apple began shipping the all-new Mac Pro with a focus on ultra-high definition video editing, LaCie touts the Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 as an ideal solution for mobile video professionals dealing with 4K and 3D formats. The company says the drive will enable videographers to "capture 250 gigabytes of 4K footage on a Little Big Disk in the field, and then transfer the content to the post-production team in under 10 minutes."

LaCie says the Fuel will be available "soon" for a suggested retail price of $199.99, while the Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 will hit shelves in the first quarter of 2014 with pricing yet to be announced.