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This review is of the LaCie Minimus, which is an external hard drive. There are both one terabyte and two terabyte versions available, I own the former, although their functionality is the same other than the storage space available. I've now been using this product for just over a year.
I recall one of the first computers I purchased had a 250MB hard drive, which once seemed vast to me, very roughly the equivalent of 250 floppy disks. Time however has moved on, the Internet has developed and there seem to be ever more documents, pictures and videos that need saving. Although I use the cloud more and more for on-line storage and back-up, I also felt that I should put a copy of all my data onto a hard drive.
I hadn't heard of LaCie before I purchased this unit, but it had good reviews and was reasonably priced at 74.99 pounds including delivery. I purchased the 1 terabyte model, although a 2 terabyte model was available for about another 25 pounds at the time. Although I have managed to take lots of photos and videos from holidays, I was still nowhere near to filling up that much space, so I opted for the 1 terabyte model.
The unit uses USB 3.0 technology, which I don't understand the details of, other than it's much quicker and more efficient. When transferring lots of data, any faster data transfer is of course appreciated, and this made me confident that the unit would be up-to-date, although my computer currently isn't as advanced. I did wonder whether the USB 3.0 would be compatible with my computer, but when I purchased it I checked that it is still compatible with my computer and the USB 2 I think it uses, and I've had no problems.
It's also a small unit, which makes transporting it and storing it much easier, and it is surprising light-weight, it's about the same weight as a hardback book. The unit also looks quite sleek I find, it sits quite quietly on the desk and doesn't make much noise. There's also a small on/off button at the back, but otherwise the unit doesn't have many other obvious external features.
I had noticed that some reviews suggested that the unit might be prone to break, and lose the data. However, before I purchased it, I noted that reviews stated this of many other units, so I thought I'd take a chance, especially as I already had all the data backed up on-line. I haven't needed to use it, as I use a different service, but LaCie provide a free 10GB on-line storage facility as well. This gave me more confidence that if worst came to worst and I had a bad unit, I wouldn't lose everything.
However, during my usage of this hard drive over the last year or so, I haven't had any problems. I understand that things can break, but I've found the unit to be reliable, efficient and it seems quite robust. I haven't measured speeds of data transfer, as I don't know how, but I do know that the data seems to transfer to this unit very quickly, so I'm pleased with how efficient it is. I assume that if I was using a computer with more up-to-date USB 3.0 connectors, it'd be even quicker.
I did have some slight problems setting up the required software, but this was likely my fault as I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to be doing. An instruction manual came with the unit, but I found additional instructions on-line, which helped me with the set-up. It took about 20 minutes in total for me to get my computer to recognise the new hard drive and to ensure it was all properly partitioned. Someone with more computing skill would likely do this much quicker.
I purchased my unit last year for 74.99 pounds from a third party seller on Amazon, although I've noticed that at the time of writing, it's a little more expensive at just under 90 pounds including free delivery. Also, I noticed that on the box it stated that the hard drive was both PC and Mac compatible.
As an alternative, the 2 terabyte drive is priced at around 110 pounds for those that need even more space. Most retailers seem to be selling at around the 90 pounds mark, so I'm unsure why mine was a little cheaper, possibly there was some discounting taking place and I got a little fortunate in my timing.
Overall, I find this unit very reliable and good value for the money that I've paid. I feel it's robust and strong, and provides me with reassurance that I have both a physical copy of my data as well as on-line cloud storage. Although I don't use the LaCie provided on-line storage, it's a positive feature that this is offered. Therefore I'd recommend this unit, it's ensuring that my thousands of holiday photos stay safe and easily accessible!