We all know that Thunderbolt is the fastest desktop bus in the world right now, but there are few devices that make use of its potential performance.
LaCie’s Little Big Disk is a small external flash drive that goes some way to showing what Thunderbolt can do, thanks to its RAIDed pair of SATA SSDs inside.
The LaCie LBD was one of the first available Thunderbolt devices after the technology launched two years ago, and now this modest-sized desktop drive has had a small boost again in performance.
The build quality and styling remain the same – a solid-feeling extrusion in heavy aluminium, with stout front fascia and big blue light to indicate drive activity. On the back are two Thunderbolt ports so the unit can sit within a chain. That’s a great benefit compared to units with only one port which effectively terminate the connection to bar other devices’ connection.
The downside to being an in-line unit is that it must be self- rather than bus-powered. Hence the need for mains power from a supplied wall-wart mains adaptor, thereby losing true on-the-road portability.
To help keep the unit cool when being pushed hard, the case will act as a heatsink, although LaCie must have found this to be insufficient alone so also fitted a small-diameter cooling fan to the rear. This is sadly all too audible whenever the unit is powered up, making it far less attractive as a unit you’d want to keep nearby on your desk top.
For more permanent installations, being tied to the mains should not be an issue, so providing you can stand the noise of an always-on high-speed fan the LaCie Little Big Disk can provide high speed storage in a rather small package.