LaCie 2big 6TB NAS review
LaCie has incorporated a 2GHz ARM processor and 256MB of RAM into this NAS to help cater to the needs of SMBs. But is this smart-looking device worth more than £400?
LaCie's devices make an immediate impression thanks to distinctive design. The corrugated aluminium exterior is a hallmark and, in another familiar touch, it's joined by the glowing blue orb.
We've no complaints about the LaCie's build quality. The 2big feels solid throughout, the blue orb - which also functions as a button - responds with a positive click, and there are sensible touches on the rear, including the two neat mechanisms used for undoing each of the drive bays: they rotate with a smooth motion and the bays themselves slide out just as slickly. The device itself is 92mm wide and 204mm long, so it's smaller than many rivals and, at 3.5kg, it's no porker.
As well as those two drive bays, the rear offers just one Gigabit Ethernet port, alongside USB 2 and eSATA sockets. Those latter two connections aren't used for connecting the 2big to a PC, though - instead, it's possible to connect external hard disks and other peripherals to the device in order to access them through the network.
The LaCie is a smart, easy to use device, then, but there's one particular area where we see most small business balking: the 490 inc VAT price you'll have to pay for the 6TB version, or 252 inc VAT without any storage. This is a hefty amount, however you look at it: enclosures from firms such as Synology cost less than 200 with no storage included, and devices such as the Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo NAS cost 466 with the same amount of storage in tow.
Still, there's plenty to like about the LaCie besides its looks: performance is good, aside from a small blip when writing small files, and its software is intuitive and simple enough for even networking beginners to get to grips with.
Restrictions such as the single Gigabit Ethernet and USB 2 ports and no sign of USB 3 mean the LaCie isn't suitable for larger and more complex offices but, if you're looking for a NAS device that can handle the demands of smaller businesses or the home and are willing to pay LaCie's premium this is worth a look.
LaCie’s latest balances a decent turn of speed in most of our tests alongside software which gives quick access to the most common options thanks to intuitive, widget-led design. Powers users may balk at the lack of ports and advanced options and those on a budget may be put off by the price, but for homes and small offices this is a fine NAS device which should satisfy the needs of most.
Ports: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x USB 2, 1 x eSATA Capacity: 2 x 3TB Processor: ARM 2GHz, 256MB cache Network protocols: SMB, AFP, FTP, SFTP, NFS file servers, HTTP and HTTPS web access, NTP, iSCSI, DHCP, Apple Bonjour, BitTorrent Raid: 0, 1 Dimensions: 92 x 204 x 83mm Weight: 3.5kg Warrannty: 3yr RTB
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