Seagate is well on its way to complete the acquisition of LaCie, and the two companies had a joint presence at CES 2013. For the most part, the companies have complementary lineups. There are two areas of overlap, namely, the external hard drive space and the entry-level business NAS systems and network attached hard disks. In the former space, LaCie differentiates by providing different aesthetics to the case itself. In the latter space, the differentiation is almost non-existent. In particular, both the LaCie 2big NAS and the Seagate BlackArmor NAS 220 serve the same market segment and have similar performance. It will be interesting to observe how LaCie and Seagate consolidate their budget business NAS offerings.

Seagate Wireless Plus:

The most important announcement from Seagate was the Wireless Plus portable hard drive. This is a follow-up product to the Seagate GoFlex Satellite that was reviewed in late 2011. Seagate claims to have increased the battery life by better optimizing the drive up time depending on the content being streamed. The included battery is good for up to 10 hours of video playback according to Seagate.

iOS and Android apps are available to interface with the wireless drive and access the content. In our hands-on testing, we found the Android app to perform way worse than the iOS app with respect to speed and ease of use. The STCK1000100 1 TB version is available for pre-order at a price point of $200. LaCie doesn't have any similar product in their line-up.

Seagate Central:

The Seagate Central is a network attached hard disk with a very pleasing industrial design. The unit is based on a Cavium chipset (ARM-based) and has a single GbE port as well as a USB port in a recessed nook. We voiced our concerns about the placement of the USB port (too close to the network jack, and also lacking clearance against the recessed wall). In terms of products in the same category, Seagate is pitting this against the Western Digital MyBook Live and the Iomega single bay network attached hard disk. The plus points of the Seagate Central include a Samsung SmartTV app to access the content, as well as Android and iOS apps which replicate the functionality seen in the Wireless Plus's apps. The issues we pointed out with the Android app in the Wireless Plus remain in the Seagate Central too.

The product will ship in March with a MSRP of $190, $220 and $260 for the 2TB, 3TB and 4TB versions respectively. LaCie has a network attached hard disk in the LaCie CloudBox as well as the LaCie d2 Network 2, though they aim at a different segment of the network attached hard disk market.

LaCie 5big NAS Pro:

This is a 5-bay NAS based on the Intel Atom D2700 platform meant as a performance offering in the SMB NAS market. We were able to present some thoughts with a beta unit just prior to CES. Do head on to the first part of our review for more information about the 5big NAS Pro.

LaCie 5big Thunderbolt:

Unless hard disks are placed in a RAID configuration, they are unable to saturate Thunderbolt links. LaCie introduced the 5big Thunderbolt, which can deliver up to 785 MBps of throughput. There are two Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining support.

The pricing of the diskless version starts at $1200.

LaCie Blade Runner:

We have had Neil Poulton-designed external HDDs from LaCie before, and now, they have introduced the Blade Runner, designed by Philippe Starck. The design of the enclosure is hard to describe, so we will let the gallery below do the talking.

The 4 TB Blade Runner has a USB 3.0 interface. It is in a limited edition run of 10K units and has a MSRP of $300.

Seagate also briefed us under NDA on some exciting announcements scheduled for the next two quarters, along with some demonstrations. Stay tuned for more Seagate / LaCie coverage in the near future.

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  • georgec84 - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    Just curious if I should pick up the 750 GB drive now or wait for a newer one possibly with more flash memory.
  • ganeshts - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    Yes, lot of talk regarding their SSHD solution. Flash memory size goes up to 32 GB. Don't remember the hard drive size though. Will try to confirm.

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