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Tested: Thunderbolt-Powered LaCie Little Big Disk Smokes USB 3.0

The first portable hard drive on the market to support Thunderbolt (a.k.a Light Peak), LaCie's Little Big Disk has been selling like hotcakes at Apple's store, currently the only place to get it. And that's no surprise: This new transfer technology boasts speeds of up to 190 MBps, and can be daisy-chained with up to six devices, including external monitors. Try getting USB to do that! We were able to get some hands-on time with the Little Big Disk today ($399 for 1TB), and were more than impressed with the results. 

To test the Little Big Disk, we used our traditional file transfer test, copying 5GB of multimedia files, from the external drive to a 15-inch MacBook Pro and back again.

As you can see in the chart above, the Little Big Disk was between three to four times as fast as a USB 2.0 drive, and nearly twice as fast as a USB 3.0 drive. It should be noted, though, that the LBD that we tested was outfitted with dual SSDs, which no doubt improved its performance. 

 In order to get this sort of performance, though, you're going to pay top dollar. The 1TB model (which uses dual mechanical hard drives) costs $399, and the 2TB model costs $499 (pricing has yet to be determined for the SSD version). And, that's not including the Thunderbolt cable, which is sold separately for $49. 

Stay tuned for our full review.