Ready or not, USB-C is definitely the future "one connector to rule them all." As such, manufacturers are working hard to expand their offerings with the port. Now, LaCie, one of the mainstays of film industry hardware, has upgraded its Rugged portable drive and D2 desktop drives to be fully USB-3 and Thunderbolt 3-capable.

It's time to start buying drives with the new connector. 

The combination USB-C/Thunderbolt3 port offers a lot of benefits: tremendous maximum throughput, small form factor, and, most importantly, power. Hopefully, this will be the only port you ever see on a laptop in the near future. While Apple has taken some flak for having only the new port on its Macbook and Macbook Pro laptops, the port isn't limited to Apple; it's showing up increasingly on PC devices, as well. 

Lacie-d2-tb3-backLacie D2 with the new connectorCredit: LaCie

Maintaining the overall design language that LaCie has used for many years, both the Rugged and the D2 should be familiar to most filmmakers. The Rugged has remained the default "courier" drive when sending footage and projects around town because of its great combination of low cost and the rubber bumper.

Both drives continue to use Seagate Barracuda internal drives; the D2 has 7200rpm internal drives for faster performance. The Rugged continues using integrated cable storage from the previous generation—a great feature, especially for a new cable that is not as common yet in the field.

You aren't likely to see a huge increase in performance with the new connector. 

While it's useful to keep your equipment in tune with the latest standards, it's important to remember that you aren't likely to see a huge increase in performance with the new connector. Peak speeds (spinning disk drives around 240MB/s, SSDs in the rugged delivering 510MB/s) are still well under the theoretical bandwidth cap of even the previous generation Thunderbolt 2 connectors. However, if you have a machine with the new port or are planning on purchasing a machine with said port soon, it's time to start buying drives with the new connector. It will save you a dongle and guarantee a longer useful life for the drive as older USB-A and T2 machines slowly get phased out.

Lacie-rugged-thunderbolt-usb-c-4tb-backLaCie RuggedCredit: LaCie

There doesn't appear to be a Rugged RAID available yet with the new connector, but we're hoping it will come to market shortly.

The Rugged ships this spring starting at $249.99; the D2 starts at $429.99.

Tech Specs

  • USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 Connector
  • Rugged available in 2, 4 and 5TB HDD
  • Rugged SSD available in 1TB size
  • d2 available in 6tb, 8tb or 10tb sizes