Computers

LaCie's shiny, spherical HDD rolls up at CES

The LaCie Sphère hard drive is the result of a collaboration with Christofle
The LaCie Sphère hard drive is the result of a collaboration with Christofle
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The LaCie Sphère hard drive is the result of a collaboration with Christofle
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The LaCie Sphère hard drive is the result of a collaboration with Christofle
The LaCie Sphère packs a 1 TB drive inside a shiny sphere
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The LaCie Sphère packs a 1 TB drive inside a shiny sphere
The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2
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The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2
The LaCie Fuel adds 1 TB of external storage to iPads, iPhones and Macs
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The LaCie Fuel adds 1 TB of external storage to iPads, iPhones and Macs
The LaCie Fuel's battery provides up to 10 hours of operation
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The LaCie Fuel's battery provides up to 10 hours of operation
The LaCie Fuel side view
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The LaCie Fuel side view
The LaCie Fuel creates its own Wi-Fi network
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The LaCie Fuel creates its own Wi-Fi network
The LaCie Fuel front view
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The LaCie Fuel front view
The LaCie Fuel adds 1 TB of external storage to iPads, iPhones and Macs
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The LaCie Fuel adds 1 TB of external storage to iPads, iPhones and Macs
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The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 exploded view
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The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 exploded view
The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 front angle view
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The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 front angle view
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The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 rear
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The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 rear
The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 front
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The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 front
The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 packs two 500 GB PCIe Gen 2 SSDs in a RAID O setup
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The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 packs two 500 GB PCIe Gen 2 SSDs in a RAID O setup
The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 boasts transfer speeds of up to 1,375 MB/s
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The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 boasts transfer speeds of up to 1,375 MB/s

Following on from its collaborations with designer Neil Poulton on its Rugged Hard Disk and Phillippe Starck for its Blade Runner disk, LaCie has looked to France-based manufacturer of fine silverware, Christofle, to add a touch of class to its latest hard drive offering, the LaCie Sphère.

The Sphère is the second product LaCie and Christofle have collaborated on, following on from the Galet USB key released in 2011. To be unveiled at CES 2014, the new offering encloses a 1 TB HDD inside a spherical case of steel, that is stamped, silver-plated and polished in Christofle's silversmith workshop in Normandy.

With power supplied via a USB 3.0 cable, the shiny drive doesn't require a separate power cable and offers the speed advantages of USB 3.0. A single blue LED at the base of the device indicates the HDD status.

The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 front angle view
The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 front angle view

LaCie is also unveiling the Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2, on which the company renewed its partnership with Neil Poulton, who has given the unit's aluminum enclosure a shiny, black finish.

The 1 TB drive packs two 500 GB PCIe Gen 2 SSDs in a RAID O setup, which when coupled with the USB 3.0 interface provides transfer speeds of up to 1,375 MB/s. This is up from the 635 MB/s speeds of the original Little Big Disk Thunderbolt and LaCie claims it is several times faster than any other mobile USB 3.0 HDD on the market.

The LaCie Fuel adds 1 TB of external storage to iPads, iPhones and Macs
The LaCie Fuel adds 1 TB of external storage to iPads, iPhones and Macs

Cutting the cords altogether is the new Fuel, which is the first product collaboration between LaCie and Seagate and is designed to add 1 TB of external storage to iPads, iPhones and Macs. With its battery providing up to 10 hours of operation, the Fuel creates its own Wi-Fi network to allow up to five devices to connect directly to it at once without requiring an internet connection.

However, if the drive is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi, it can also act as a hotspot, allowing multiple devices to share an internet connection. The Fuel is also AirPlay compatible, so video or audio files stored on the drive can be streamed to an Apple TV or AirPlay-compatible speakers.

The LaCie Sphère will sell for US$490 and be available in the first quarter of 2014, while the Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 will also be available sometime this quarter at a price yet to be announced. The Fuel is priced at $199 and will be "available soon."

LaCie's promo video for the Sphere can be seen below.

Source: LaCie

LaCie | Christofle Sphère

3 comments
William McCluskey
I would love to see a picture of how it plugs in. It would be a shame to have a fancy silver orb with cheap, ugly cables coming out of it.
Constant Swagemakers
I bought a 'LaCie' 500GB in the shop; the best of the best, so they told me. I made a back-up of 'Lion' before upgrading to Mountain Lion. Now I can't access the info on my harddisk. It's not 'my' problem, it's all over the WEB, with people with the same problem. Someone contacted LaCie and was told that LaCie was aware of the problem but they (LaCie) did not intend to fix/restore the problem. They suggest, however, to 'power' their harddisk[s]. Still, nice design, but no more LaCie for me.
Gregg Eshelman
Apple has made a cylindrical computer. Lacie is making a spherical hard drive case. Which peripheral will be a pyramid? Park these next to Apple's cube in the overpriced and impractical category.