updated 05:55 pm EST, Mon January 9, 2012
2Big drive, eSATA hub coming late winter
Drive maker LaCie has announced an expansion of its line of Thunderbolt-supporting peripherals on the eve of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. In addition to its existing Little Big Disk Thunderbolt drive, the company will be adding a 2Big dual-disk model as well as an eSATA hub that lets users connect two eSATA external hard drives, and offers the possibility of daisy-chaining more at full eSATA 3Gb per second speeds.
The 2Big drive is a single enclosure that holds two hard drives (available in 4TB, 6TB and 8TB configurations) which can be set as two volumes or configured for RAID redundancy. The company says data transfer rates run has high as 311 megabytes (MB) per second with a standalone drive; daisy-chaining multiple 2Big drives (each unit has a spare TB port) would even increase that performance.
The drive is aimed at heavy data users, such as videographers and photographers, or those who need backups completed in record time. The 2Big Thunderbolt drive can offer speeds up to three times faster than even Firewire 800. The unit offers a three-year warranty.
The company is also among the first to be bringing a practical eSATA hub to Thunderbolt-equipped Macs, letting them use inexpensive external eSATA drives. The hub features two eSATA ports, and again feature a spare TB port to daisy-chain up to a total of six eSATA hubs for a total of 12 drives on a single Thunderbolt connection, all operating at up to the 3Gb per second maximum speed of the drives.
The drives will be available in the first quarter of 2012, the company says, but pricing has not yet been announced.
eSATA Thunderbolt hub