LACIE HAS NEVER BEEN afraid to make a slick-looking drive that packs a punch, and that's what it's trying to do with its Slim drive with "Porsche Design." If you bought a laptop for maximum portability, this drive furthers that goal by its very slim 0.4-inch thickness, and weighing in at slightly less than a half-pound. LaCie offers the drive in both a 500GB rotating-platter version and the 120GB SSD version you see here, which costs $65 more than the platter drive.

Both come with a two-year warranty, which is kind of low but common for "cost sensitive" storage devices. However, LaCie has never been a company to skimp on anything, so we're surprised the warranty isn't at least three years. Inside the matte aluminum shell is an SSD of unknown origin, and there's no easy way to open the shell without destroying the enclosure. There are rubber bumpers on both sides but it's otherwise a solid, bricklike case.

On the side is a USB 3.0 connector with an extra-long cable; it's a shame LaCie couldn't find a way to integrate it with the shell since it's hard to store it with the cable poking out from the side. The drive comes with two primary utilities- Genie Timeline for backup duties and a LaCie-branded version of TrueCrypt that lets you dedicate a portion of the drive's 117GB formatted capacity to be an encrypted volume. We love TrueCrypt, and are always glad to see it included as a utility on removable storage, so kudos to LaCie. The Genie Timeline software is also excellent and easy to use. In our benchmarks, the LaCie Slim racked up mildly impressive read and write scores, but it averaged around 200MB/s in our real-world file copy test, which put it dead-even with the platter-based RAID 0 setup of the Seagate.

This means that in the real world, this bad boy is faster than a platter-based drive, but not a RAID 0 config. All in all, the LaCie is a decent drive but there's nothing about it that really stands out or makes our hearts go pitter-patter. It's fast and has a good software package, but it's expensive and has smallish capacity. If you absolutely need a super-slim portable drive, it's a safe bet. Otherwise, go the DIY route and save yourself some cash.

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