LaCie Rugged Boss Review

LaCie Rugged Boss Review

For photographers and videographers out on location backing up footage has always been a bit of a chore. But no longer. The LaCie Rugged Boss is a battery powered 1TB SSD with an integrated SD card reader and USB connectivity, and fundamentally doesn’t require a computer.

These days most of us can’t be found without a smart phone. A fact that hasn’t been missed by the team at LaCie. Building on the engineering of the original DJI Copilot the Rugged Boss is a solid addition in its lineup of run-and-gun storage.

Clad in LaCie’s iconic orange bumper, the Rugged Boss is a 1.2m drop resistant, splash proof portable drive. But where it might lack the IP67 rating of its siblings it more than makes up for that deficiency in features and general usefulness.

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SSD Storage

With a 1TB capacity you won’t be offloading much RAW footage, but if you’re shooting 4K internally on something like the Sony a7S III then you’ll have plenty of room for shorter projects. And if you’re a photographer the Rugged Boss is a perfect companion tool. Just pop in your SD card, hit the one button backup, and watch as your shots get transferred.

While the Rugged Boss isn’t as fast as an NVMe drive it does pack a good amount of speed, clocking up to 430MB/s direct transfer using the integrated SD slot or USB port. You can choose to monitor transfer progress, charge, and capacity with the onboard screen or use the smart phone app.

Rugged Boss App

LaCie’s app for the Rugged Boss is available for iOS and Android devices, and it’s a powerful tool to have. Initial setup is smooth (make sure you do this while connected to the internet for Ts & Cs) and footage review is easy. Each time you offload a card it will get stored in a new backup folder for cataloguing. Metadata is available for each file and you can see a preview in the scroll window.

You can also watch footage back for a more detailed review process, which is perfect when collaborating with partners or checking your best takes. However, it’s not going to be playing a native ProRes RAW file any time soon so don’t be surprised when you can’t watch them on your phone – a limitation that’s entirely forgivable considering the capacity and intention of the Rugged Boss, but it would be nice to have. It’s worth noting that you can choose to play a file through a different app altogether, such as VLC.

A Little Extra

The Rugged Boss comes with a couple of extra bonuses. First up is its ability to function as a USB hub. Connection to your PC or laptop is via USB-C so offloading footage is a breeze, and that same connection keeps the SD and USB slots live. So you can use the Rugged Boss as a go-between for a standard offload process.

What’s helpful for a mobile SSD like this is that it’s a self-powered device. And LaCie has taken that a step further by including a 5,300 mAh battery into the mix that can act as a mobile power brick. Which means that if you’re running low on phone charge you can solve that problem while simultaneously checking what you’ve shot that day.

LaCie has bundled its Rescue Data Recovery service with each purchase as well. This rather nice peace-of-mind add-on means that you can lean on LaCie to attempt a one-off recovery of your files in the warranty period. Just in case you really smash up the drive.

Conclusion

While the Rugged Boss might not have the highest capacity out there its features and tools make it a real contender for your kit bag. It really shines for run-and-gun or lifestyle work with enough space for a respectable amount of data. It’s a decently protected rugged drive that will happily take being thrown into a kit bag or dropped onto a forest floor, and it gives you the flexibility to shoot stills and video out in the field without worrying about filling your SD cards.

If you capture footage in using ProRes LT or internal codecs like Sony’s XAVC-l you should have plenty of room for interviews, short films, and some on-location work.

And a USB-C 3.2 gen1 connection means you can comfortably edit right off the drive.

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