After a great deal of waiting, my LaCie 2TB Little Big Disk Thunderbolt Series Hard Drive arrived in the post today, along with the Apple Thunderbolt Cable that I fortunately ordered at the same time (more on this later). So I thought I’d summarise my initial impressions.
Apple Thunderbolt Cable.
The Lacie disk drive doesn’t come with a Thunderbolt cable, and the only cable I can find is the Apple cable. That’s OK as it would seem unwise to use an unknown cable when dealing with Thunderbolt data speeds, at least initially when the tech is so new. It;s £39.00 in the UK Apple Store. Not cheap, but then its a lot ore than just cable – each end contains active processors to manage the data throughput.
What isn’t so great is that this thing is unnecessarily long for many uses (2.0m long) and also quite thick and inflexible. Maybe the thickness is necessary due to the cable construction to maintain data throughput, but the length seems unnecessary. Maybe Apple only wanted to produce one cable, but for a small external hard disk that sits next to my MacBook Air, 2.0m is too long.
Otherwise, the cable is fine. You can feel the Thunderbolt magic, as the cable connectors get quite warn when in use.
LaCie 2TB Little Big Disk Thunderbolt Series Hard Drive
Aside for the unnecessarily long name for this thing, so far the drive seems good. Too early to check speeds (I’m still copying data from my old external USB disk) but I’m sure it will be great for my external Aperture library and iTunes library. I say the drive is good. Not great. So far. Early days but there were a few surprises, some good, some not so good:
1. It’s is very well made from cast aluminium mainly. Very solid, and matches Apples unibody Macs quite well.
2. It’s smaller than I thought – about 2x as thick as a 2.5 inch external USB drive. Not surprising as it contains 2 x 2.5 inch drives, but for some reason it looked bigger in photos. The size is:
Length: 5.5 in./13.97 cm
Width: 1.6 in./4.06 cm
Height: 3.3 in./8.38 cm
3. It’s quite heavy, but then it contains 2 x disks. For the record, the weight is:
Weight: 1.4 lb./0.64 kg
4. It needs an external power supply (i.e. it doesn’t get power via the Thunderbolt port). I have no idea what the power capabilities are of Thunderbolt (not enough for 2 mechanical hard disks obviously), but I was surprised that the disk uses an external power supply. That’s a shame as it;s another thing to forget / lose / carry. Not much can be done about that though.
5. It has a fan built-in, so it isn’t silent. Not a major issue, but again, a little surprising, especially given the fact that the disk enclosure is basically a big heatsink.
So to summarise: no major issues, just a few surprises. Looking forwards to browsing my Aperture library without waiting for photos to load etc. More to follow in a few days.