The Fuel from LaCie is an external hard drive with an impressive 1TB storage capacity and USB 3.0 connection. It gives you the possibility of streaming media content wirelessly to multiple mobile devices at the time. Just like other LaCie devices, Fuel is mainly designed to work with Apple products, therefore it would suit anyone that is looking for a way to stream videos and music to several iPads, iPhones and iPods. That does not mean that you cannot use it with Windows or Android, as it is possible to get streaming apps that are compatible with these systems. The Fuel is great when you are on the go, as it lets you stream content to multiple devices at the same time, so you can use it to share movies with your friends in a bus trip.
Design and Settings
Fuel is exactly what you think about when you see this drive from LaCie. It looks like a small can of gasoline with what appears to be an orange carrying handle on the top right corner. The design is clever, fun but still quite simple, without ant frills. The plastic frame is grey, solid with a matte finish and has battery life and Wi-Fi indicators that light up in green and blue. The Fuel is heavier than other portable drives and also thicker. However, it is still easy to carry and does not add a noticeable amount of weight to your handbag or luggage. The drive comes with a USB 3.0 cable and a block that turns into an AC power adapter.
Setting up the fuel is easy and you can connect the drive to your device using the USB port and then transfer the files. The Fuel is mainly focused in Mac usage but it is already formatted in exFAT, which can be accessed also from PCs or you can reformat it to other options such as HFS+. To connect to the Fuel wirelessly, you will need to keep the power button pressed until the battery light indicator turns green and the Wi-Fi’s blue light flashes. After this, you will be able to connect to the drive’s wireless network from the Wi-Fi options listed in your device, where it will appear as “LaCie Fuel”. Then you need to download the Seagate Media App from Apple’s App Store or Google Play Store. there is also a version available fro Kindle Fire in Amazon. Once the app is installed, you can launch it or access lacie.com in the browser from your computer.
The Fuel interface will appear when you open the Seagate Media App and you will see a drop-down menu in the middle, from where you will be able to access any files from the drive. The menu also lets you switch between files contained in the drive and those on the mobile device or PC. There is also a search button, icons for Wi-Fi connections, settings, battery level, which will enable you to access the power saving mode. You will also find options to view and organize your files. In Settings, you can create a password, which is important to set up because by default, the Fuel does not request this and can be accessed openly.
You can connect up to five devices to the fuel at the same time and three can stream video in high quality. You just need to tap on the video that you want in the video section of the app and you will be able to watch it immediately on your mobile device or computer, as long as the format is supported. You can also use the Fuel with Dropbox, connecting the drive to internet and login into your Dropbox account from the Settings menu.
Performance and battery
Accessing and transferring files worked well enough thanks specially to the speedy USB 3.0 connection. The fact that the Fuel uses a platter-based hard drive and offer a 1TB of storage means that you get a larger space than SSD and enough capacity for a large amount of movies. Audio and video quality are remarkable and it takes only a few second to buffer content before you can play it. The level of responsiveness and quality is continues, guaranteeing that you will not experience interruptions or issues while watching a video. Streaming video in up to three devices simultaneously is easy and you will enjoy the same quality across al the tablets or smartphones. The battery life of LaCie Fuel is quite impressive and can offer over 12 hours of continuous use, even when playing high quality videos. This will ensure that you can enjoy a movie marathon during a long distance trip.
The Fuel from LaCie combines effectively a external hard drive and a streaming device. You will get a huge storage capacity with its 1TB that allows you to carry a massive amount of music tracks, photos or a collection of movies. Some of the advantages that you can enjoy with the Fuel are that it is easy to set up and it offers integrated support for Dropbox. It also allows you to stream high resolution videos between three devices. However, at $179.99 the Fuel doesn’t come cheap and even though it offers a great set of features, it would benefit from a better transfer speed over USB 3.0. Still, if you are willing to invest more in a hard drive, the amazing battery life, versatility and the top quality video streaming make the Fuel an option worth considering.