LaCie Announces First USB-C External Hard Drive Supporting New MacBook

IA_MBA_Porsche-DesignLaCie on Tuesday announced the Porsche Design Mobile Drive as the world's first external hard drive with a built-in USB-C port. The LaCie Mobile Drive features a reversible cable that supports Apple's latest MacBook with USB-C technology, delivering data transfer speeds up to 100 MB/s for quickly transferring photos, videos and other files or backing up with Time Machine.
"The LaCie™ Mobile Drive features a USB-C port — the user-friendly connector of the future. This new technology makes the LaCie Mobile Drive incredibly easy to connect, since both ends of the cable are identical and the connector is reversible. As a result, there is no need to worry about which end goes to which device or about plugging it in upside down."
The LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive is made with a 3 mm-thick solid aluminum enclosure designed to match the look of Apple's latest MacBook and other anodized aluminum products. The external hard drive will be available next quarter in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities, and also includes an adapter with standard USB 3.0 (Type-A) or USB 2.0 ports for backwards compatibility with older Macs or USB-equipped devices.

Pricing information was not disclosed.

Tags: LaCie, USB-C


Top Rated Comments

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17 months ago
LaCie - 3mm thick
Apple - 3mm thin

See the difference?
Rating: 14 Votes
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17 months ago
Can it also charge the Macbook? Otherwise this is totally useless as a nightly backup / charging solution.
Rating: 7 Votes
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17 months ago

i'd like to know which of you is correct. why would a drive and the charger connect to the adapter at the same time if they couldn't function together? am i missing something about your setup?


This drive in this article has a USB-C connector. The rMB is charged via its USB-C port. The adapter adds one USB (old style) plug, one HDMI plug, and passes through USB-C (it does not add another USB-C). So, with or without the adapter, there is only one USB-C port to use, and two things that logically make sense to use at the same time: external storage and charging.

Put another way, here is my attempt at a diagram:


Without an adapter:

[rMB USB-C]---[Charger]
or
[rMB USB-C]---[LaCie USB-C drive]

can't connect both.

With an adapter:
|---[USB-A]
[rMB USB-C]---[Adapter]---[HDMI]
|---[USB-C]---[Charger]
or
|---[USB-A]
[rMB USB-C]---[Adapter]---[HDMI]
|---[USB-C]---[LaCie USB-C drive]

can't connect both.
Rating: 4 Votes
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17 months ago
I love the new MacBook in terms of looks but when LaCie make a drive with no USB-C pass through I do despair.

Let's take the Mac off charge to backup or transfer data....
Rating: 3 Votes
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17 months ago

Damn. You know your cables sir.
May I ask what is it you do for a living?


Just someone who reads specs in his spare time...

Check out usb.org (http://usb.org), anandtech.com (http://anandtech.com), and arstechnica.com (http://arstechnica.com)

Lots of interesting info. Industry related, not exclusive to Apple.
Rating: 3 Votes
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17 months ago
Can't we just buy a new cable for our existing hard drives? I thought all USB cables are easily adaptable.

It's funny how this thing seems like a mashup between Lightning connector and Thunderbolt: reversible, can carry data, power and video.
Rating: 2 Votes
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17 months ago

Can it also charge the Macbook? Otherwise this is totally useless as a nightly backup / charging solution.



Look at the new USB-C video adapters from Apple. They actually include three ports including a regular USB port and a USB-C power pass-through.

So, you could backup nightly using USB 2, while still powering, with an adapter. You would have the alternative of using the drive in USB-C mode during the day.
Rating: 2 Votes
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17 months ago

LaCie's page for this drive states that they include a USB-C<--->USB-A cable with the drive, so with Apple's $79 dongle, you plug the charger into the USB-C port and the LaCie Drive into the USB-A port. Presumably the USB-A port gets enough power to run the drive.




|---[USB-A]---[LaCie USB-C drive]
[rMB USB-C]---[Adapter|---[HDMI]
|---[USB-C]---[Charger]



That would work, I suppose. Still seems pretty silly though. Also, it seems that simply using a regular USB 3.0 drive would accomplish the same thing, but with 1 less adapter.

I don't mind USB-C, I think it's great. I just think it's stupid to include only 1 port because of the charging issue. I would have zero complaints if the MBA had 2 USB-C ports. That way people could always charge and use one peripheral without requiring any adapters. Alternatively, the $80 adapter should have 2 USB-C ports for the same reason.
Rating: 2 Votes
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17 months ago
Since type C can provide 100 watts at 20 volts, do you think that the desktop drives will loose the AC plug? That would be cool to think that all single drive externals could just have one cable like their portable cousins.
Rating: 1 Votes
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17 months ago

Certainly possible, except for one important consideration: not all devices with Type-C connection can supply 100Watts of power.

There would have to be some sort of notation or mark to indicate what power could be provided from any particular computer. For example, how much power might the new Macbook deliver from its Type-C connector?

We only know that the new charger for the Macbook is rated to supply 29Watts to charge the Macbook. A far cry from 100Watts.


What's interesting is that the including power supply doesn't follow the fixed profiles of the USB Power Delivery Specification.



Still, anything which can support Profile 2 should provide enough power for most external desktop hard drives.
Rating: 1 Votes
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