The LaCie Porsche Design P’9223 Slim ($149 list) is a sleekly designed external solid-state drive (SSD), and it’s quite speedy while transferring data to your slim laptop or ultrabook. If you bought your laptop for portability, as well as making a design statement, this is the drive to consider. It’s pricey on a dollar per gigabyte basis, but it won’t keep you waiting for the HD videos you store on it. It can also kick-start a conversation about design with the folks next you in the coffee shop, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Design and Features
The P’9223 Slim essentially looks like a sleek block of aluminum with black plastic plugs on opposite sides. The solid aluminum protects the SSD chips inside, while the plastic houses the USB 3.0 connector and some of the drive’s branding. At about 0.4 by 5 by 3 inches (HWD), it’s one of the slimmest external drives we’ve reviewed in a pocket drive form factor, infinitesimally smaller than the G-Technology G-Drive Slim. It’s a smidge longer (but thinner) than the Western Digital My Passport Edge (500GB) . While the G-Drive Slim and WD My Passport Edge are rounded and have a sandwich construction, the P’9223 Slim sports a unibody construction with sharp edges. A slit cut into the P’9223 Slim’s body lets a drive light shine through.
The drive has a 120GB capacity, which is much smaller than the spinning drives in the G-Drive Slim (500GB), the Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive for Mac (1TB) , and WD My Passport Edge. The 120GB is enough to back up 128GB and 64GB Apple MacBook Air laptops, as well as some SSD-equipped ultrabooks and tablets. However, the drive is a little short of capacity if your laptop has a spinning hard drive, which tend to run to higher capacities—think 320GB or more. In all these cases, you could use the P’9223 Slim as supplemental storage.
The drive starts by auto-loading the LaCie Setup program when you first plug it in. It asks you to partition the drive FAT32 or HFS+ with a sliding scale so you can either use it with PCs, Macs, or a combination of both. We set the drive as an HFS+ drive (Mac format) for our testing. LaCie also prompts you to install an optional simple backup program, encryption software, and a link to LaCie’s Wuala online storage service (10GB is included). You can choose to use LaCie’s automatic backup program, or use the backup included with Windows 8 or Mac OS X. Like most Mac-oriented drives, OS X asks you if you want to use the drive with Time Machine automatically.
The P’9223 Slim returned speedy read speeds using the AJA System Test, with a 435 MBps read speed, and a 198 MBps write speed over USB 3.0. These speeds are very close to the Editors’ Choice-winning LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series. The P’9223 Slim was very fast in our drag and drop copy test, taking only 13 seconds to transfer our 1.22 GB test folder. This makes the drive a great companion to an SSD-equipped laptop, as you won’t be waiting for your data for any significant period of time. Short of a dual-drive Thunderbolt external SSD, the P’9223 Slim is one of the fastest external drives available, much faster than a USB key or spinning hard drive.
If you must have your data transferred now, the LaCie Porsche Design P’9223 Slim is an über-portable way to transport data to and from your MacBook Air or Windows ultrabook. It’s very stylish, and will appeal to anyone who enjoys seeing the Porsche Design brand on his or her stuff. That said, the P’9223 Slim’s more expensive LaCie Rugged brother is more flexible, with both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports, and can take the bumps and drops of real life better. This is really the drive for those who follow Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier’s Modernist design aesthetic.
Compare the LaCie Porsche Design P’9223 Slim with several other hard drives side by side.
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