As someone working in the design industry I constantly find myself switching between PC and Mac operating systems and my need for portable storage has always been quite demanding.
While the PC/MAC debate will likely rage forever, (or until Bill Gates and Steve Jobs settle things with an overdue arm wrestle) it is pleasing to find a device that is just as friendly to either set-up.
The Lacie rugged 250gb is a traditional hard drive connecting through either USB, Firewire or Firewire 800 and is a breeze to set up on Windows or OS X.
Simply plug in your chosen connection and away you go. Told you it was easy!
The device drivers and setup files automatically configure to your system within a few minutes and during installation you are given the smart option of creating a partitioned area to transfer files from a Mac operating system to PC.
Don't ever use a Mac? No problem, you can set up the drive just for PC.
The 250gb on offer is more than enough for the casual user although naturally there are larger varieties available within the Lacie family.
The design is the biggest selling point and the chunky rubber encased housing is thanks to famed product designer Neil Poulton.
Marketing a hard drive as 'All Terrain' seems a little ambitious however. Yes, the rubber housing and shock absorption will help the average user's Lacie survive the odd desk drop or bump in a bag but realistically the traditional Hard Drive will never survive serious punishment because of it's delicate moving parts.
On the whole this is a good, traditional drive that is ideal for the user of multiple systems, especially those on the move. The Rugged won't survive a 5 story drop from a car park but is resilient enough for busy office or studio work and will continue to be popular until Solid State Drives become more practical.
Bottom line - Functional and well made. Rugged but not indestructible.