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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cool Gear: Designer Hard Drives

Personal storage with personality

Cool Gear: Designer Hard Drives

Mundane tasks like data backup and image archiving aren't as exciting as working with your images on the computer. It may be essential to protect our irreplaceable photos, and the time and creative effort we put into perfecting them, but as I write these words—"external hard drives"—I imagine your eyes are glossing over in boredom. Though necessary, backup storage devices aren't the kind of equipment typically associated with "fun."

LaCie (www.lacie.com) is trying to change your perception of the external hard drive. Rather than cluttering your desk or gadget bag with yet another drab cube, LaCie has of late been designing personal storage with personality. Why not try to make dull, routine tasks, or at least the hardware associated with them, more amusing?

Working with name-droppable designers like F. A. Porsche, Karim Rashid, Ora-Ïto and Neil Poulton, LaCie has completely remolded the external hard drive into an objet d'art.

Take Ora-Ïto's whimsical LaCie Brick drives. Playing on the idea of data as building blocks, Ora-Ïto styled these drives to resemble an icon of childhood—the Lego. Available in red, white and blue, the LaCie Brick drives are designed to remind you that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Capacity ranges from up to 500 GB for the desktop drive to 120 GB for the mobile version.


Feeling adventurous? Neil Poulton's LaCie Rugged hard drive is dubbed a "durable, all-terrain" device for portable storage. To be sure that the drive is ready for any trail or travail, it's clad in scratch-protected aluminum, with a big, bright orange bumper to ward off knocks, drops and dings. Get capacities from 80 GB to 120 GB in these mobile drives.

A perfect match for your Prada pocketbook, the LaCie Skwarim by Karim Rashid comes in two hues, pink and blue, with capacities of 30 GB and 60 GB, respectively. These ultraportable mobile drives have a soft-feel shell and a built-in USB cable that discreetly tucks into one side.

For the man who has everything except a shiny, F. A. Porsche-designed mobile hard drive that resembles an ingot of silver, LaCie has that covered, too, with the Data Bank, pun intended. Slip the slim design into your pocket or flash it about to incite envy in those whose portable storage doesn't resemble the contents of Fort Knox.
Who says your personal storage can't have personality?



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