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Lacie Rikiki external hard drive

Review Smallest 2.5-inch unit, cute monkey too (monkey not included)
Thu Feb 04 2010, 14:47

Product: Lacie Rikiki
Specifications: 250GB/500GB/640GB capacities, USB 2.0, transfer rate up to 60MBps, 110x75x13mm, 158g
Price: £64.99 (250GB)

THOUGH SOLID STATE DRIVE (SSD) capacities are constantly rising it’s not surprising to see 2.5-inch external drives still doing the rounds, offering higher capacities and lower prices for the sacrifice of a relatively large footprint.

rikiki-1Lacie claims to have the “smallest 2.5-inch hard drive on the market” in the Rikiki - which means 'tiny' in French, incidentally - and while it’s certainly quite slim and sleek, if this claim rings true we can’t imagine there’s much in it. A brushed stainless steel enclosure is devoid of any particular features save for a mini-USB connection - a 5in long USB cable is also provided - and power LED. It certainly looks the part and the brushed surface does make it resistant to knocks, scratches and greasy fingerprints, but we’d question its ability to withstand being inadvertently dropped or kicked as there doesn’t appear to be much support for the spinning disc inside.

The Rikiki doesn’t come preformatted but walks you through the process during a wizard that starts up when it is first connected. When the process is completed it also installs the manual and a selection of utilities onto the drive. This includes access to Wuala online storage, Genie Backup assistant and Lacie’s USB Boost proprietary driver, allegedly capable of increasing transfer speeds by up to 33.7 per cent.

rikiki-3The software provided is pretty straightforward and does what it’s supposed to, namely offering quick and easy backup and restore for those who don’t already have a solution to do this installed. The Genie Backup Assistant offers a range of settings for creating and automatically updating backup sets and schedules, with everything you need here to handle selected folders, emails, system files or entire volumes with a minimum of fuss. Full and incremental backups are available along with compression and AES Encryption, data can be automatically verified and there’s the option to create and maintain multiple file versions for documents and other sensitive data.

We ran a few copy tests on the Rikiki and initially noted an average time of around 45 seconds for a random transfer of a 1GB collection of files. After installing Lacie’s USB Boost driver, which simply requires you to disconnect and reconnect the drive following install to enable it, this dropped to 40 seconds – hardly groundbreaking, but a tidy saving that will come in handy when working with large collections of files.

In Short
The Lacie Rikiki is available in three capacities and is fairly reasonably priced considering its slim and portable nature. 250GB will set you back £64.99, 500GB £99.99 and 640GB £124.99, and this is before the inevitable discounts that can be found online, so it certainly makes a fair case for the capabilities of 2.5-inch hard drives in providing a cheap, effective mix of capacity and portability. µ

The Good
Stylish, portable design, good range of software supplied, decent performance, reasonably priced.

The Bad
Stainless steel enclosure would offer little shock protection if dropped.

The Ugly
The lack of a built-in USB connector means you’ll have to carry a cable around.

Bartender’s Score



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