I met with LaCie this morning to talk about its upcoming Little Big Disk Thunderbolt storage solution. Unlike the Promise Pegasus R4/R6, the Little Big Disk only accommodates two 2.5" drives. LaCie will be offering both HDD and SSD options, although capacities will top out at 2TB for the HDD version and something much smaller for the SSD version.

The front of the chassis features a blue orb that lights up during disk accesses. It'll glow red if there's a problem with the setup. The orb also doubles as a power switch. There's no internal RAID controller, the drives rely on software RAID through OS X and by default will be configured as a RAID-0. 

Although Thunderbolt can deliver up to 10W, the controller, cable and drives together end up exceeding that limit so LaCie will be bundling an external AC adapter with the Little Big Disk. Around back there are two Thunderbolt ports that allow you to daisy chain up to six of these Little Big Disks. 

LaCie will be shipping the LBD this quarter. Pricing is TBD but we're eagerly awaiting our chance to review the chassis.

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  • xxtypersxx - Thursday, September 15, 2011 - link

    Any size benefit this offers over 3.5 inch enclosures is completely negated by the external powerbrick. What is the point of paying the premium for less storage when its not any more mobile? Your deskspace would have to be worth more than real estate in Tokyo for this to make sense.
  • tipoo - Thursday, September 15, 2011 - link

    USB 3.0 can output 4.5 Watts right now, I believe, but there are plans to allow it to deliver up to 100W in some systems in 2012. Anyone know if TB will have such a ramp-up? I can't see most users needing 100, but the ability to run something like this without external power would be nice.
  • JasonInofuentes - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    So, since it's a PCI-E interface, just made external, there is a max of 75W that can be pushed through the interface. There are unused pins in the interface that could theoretically be put to use to add additional power, but that could pose it's own complications. The other consideration is that in a mobile setting a peripheral drawing 100W, or even 75W, is likely drawing more than the host device. Not a lot of logic there. So while LaCie's decision to tether their device to an external adapter makes it better suited to desktop storage, as opposed to mobile storage, the 10W that the TB does provide could be put to good use in other devices.

  • FaaR - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    It's not a PCIe interface made external, the packets sent across it may be PCIe-compatible on a logical level, but the actual hardware implementation isn't anything like PCIe.

    Expecting there to be a max of 75W to be found in that connector just because it's related to PCIe on a certain level isn't realistic. Check how tiny the pins are in the TB connector! Pull that many watts through them and the plug would probably fuse with the socket from the resistance-induced heatload.
  • bugaloo - Thursday, September 15, 2011 - link

    "Although Thunderbolt can deliver up to 10W, the controller, cable and drives together end up exceeding that limit so LaCie will be bundling an external AC adapter with the Little Big Disk."

    That's reason enough to steer well clear of this product. I work as an independent IT consultant and I would have to say that in my 20+ years of work in the industry, the single most unreliable product across PC's, Macs, Network gear, and peripherals have to be LaCie AC adapters.
  • digital_dreamer - Thursday, September 15, 2011 - link

    True that!

    I have a bunch of dead LaCie AC adapters I collected through the years. The adapters are switching PSUs.

    I once used a bench switching PS to power up one of their enclosures and after a couple days, the PSU went dead. Ouch! I never really investigated the issue, but suspect it's a noise/transient issue or lack of sufficient power draw to work properly. A linear PS works just fine.


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