LaCie Mirror 1TB portable storage drive review

LaCie Mirror 1TB

French computer peripheral specialist LaCie is well-known for its stylish and unconventional products. The company frequently commissions talented industrial designers to craft new products, as is the case here with the LaCie Mirror. (See all storage reviews.)

The Mirror is simply and aptly named, a portable storage drive that is covered on every facet with reflective mirrors. Designed by Pauline Deltour, a graduate of Paris design schools, the Mirror is available in just one version with a 1 TB hard disk inside. But also included with the drive is a wooden desk stand that allows the Mirror to be showed off at a reclining angle when placed on the desk. At £230, this drive's storage will cost you 23p/GB.

LaCie Mirror 1TB review: Build and design

The construction looks simple, a plastic rectangular slab 13 mm thick that has glass panels glued to its top, bottom and sides. The only relief from this symphony in reflectivity is a Micro-USB 3.0 port on one end, and some light printing along one edge with CE marks and product code.

The glass mirrors are fashioned from aluminosilicate Gorilla Glass, popularised by the iPhone and now used on almost every other smartphone and tablet screen. This affords the Mirror some scratch-resistance so it's less likely to shatter if mishandled. Also in the box is a useful cloth carry bag, and even a polishing cloth. Unsurprisingly the shiny finish is a positive magnet for your fingerprints.

LaCie Mirror 1TB

The stand is made from a dense hardwood, Indonesian ebony, with a cutout to support the drive and a second groove where you could place a pen; or given what lies behind it, perhaps an eyebrow pencil. See also: best portable hard drives 2015 UK.

LaCie Mirror 1TB review: Performance

You must use LaCie's setup program to unlock the drive and format for your chosen PC platform. This was somewhat flakey when we tried in Windows 8, the program crashing every launch, so we used a Mac to set it up. You're also expected to read and agree to a tedious end-user licence of over 1000 words. Just to use a hard drive.

Due to the glued-together construction we were unable to dissemble the drive, but it proved to have an averagely zippy notebook hard disk inside. In Windows 7 its top sequential speed was 110 MB/s, while small random 4 kB files transferred at 0.57 MB/s for reads and 0.27 MB/s writes.

Tested in OS X we saw sequential speeds of 106 MB/s. In the small-file test with 4 kB to 1024 kB data, it averaged 16.8 MB/s for random reads and 8.18 MB/s for random writes.

Its performance as a mirror meanwhile was not altogether satisfactory. Used up close – compact-style – was no problem; but viewed from a metre or two away it had more a carnival mirror effect, distorting reflections due to a less than optically flat reflective surface. See our group test: What's the best SSD?

LaCie Mirror 1TB

LaCie Mirror 1TB: Specs

  • 1 TB USB 3.0 portable drive
  • 2.5-inch HDD
  • wooden support stand
  • carry case
  • 460 mm USB cable
  • 128 x 80 x 13.0 mm
  • 245 g
  • 1 TB USB 3.0 portable drive
  • 2.5-inch HDD
  • wooden support stand
  • carry case
  • 460 mm USB cable
  • 128 x 80 x 13.0 mm
  • 245 g

OUR VERDICT

The LaCie Mirror is well suited for the modern computer narcisist, a portable storage drive that lets you check your makeup as easily as your Facebook status, or just to keep an eye on who is creeping up behind you. As a drive it performed perfectly well but be prepared to pay to peer through this looking glass – at £230 it is five times the price of more function-first 1 TB models.