LaCie 1big Dock at a glance:

  • £340 (4TB) to £640 (16TB)
  • Desktop hard disc drive, 4TB – 16TB
  • Integrated CF and SD card readers
  • Thunderbolt / USB-C computer connection
  • DisplayPort 1.4 video output

If you shoot high-resolution stills or 4K video, you’ll know just how hungry for storage space modern cameras can be. Indeed, one of the biggest problems facing many serious photographers is how to manage their data, especially as most high-end laptops are built around fast but relatively low-capacity solid-state drives. This is exacerbated by the current trend of only including the bare minimum of ports in them. Recent Apple MacBooks may be fine machines, but their lack of SD slots and HDMI or full-size USB connectors leaves you reliant on multi-function USB-C hubs.

The built-in Compact Flash and SD card readers are prominent at the front of the drive.

LaCie 1big Dock key features:

  • USB 3.0: A front-mounted USB port can be used to connect another hard drive or card reader, or to charge your phone.
  • Card readers: The device sports built-in readers for both Compact Flash and SD cards, both of which can be used at the same time.
  • Single cable: A Thunderbolt 3 cable is used for data transfer, 4K monitor output, and delivering up to 70W power to your laptop.
  • DisplayPort 4.1: This can drive two 4K monitors simultaneously, or a single 5K display. HDMI and DVI-D adapters are available.

With its 1big Dock, Lacie has consolidated much of what you need into a single device. It’s designed to be a high-capacity, reliable workhorse hard drive with a built-in hub that includes memory card slots along with USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt/USB-C ports.

Unlike mass-market USB-C dongles, it’s specifically built to support demanding photography and video workflows, with high-speed SD and Compact Flash readers joined by a DisplayPort output that, depending on your computer’s abilities, can drive high-resolution 4K or even 5K monitors. It’s also designed for simplicity of operation, with connection to your laptop via a single cable.          

The layout of interfaces at the rear. A Thunderbolt 3 cable is used for data transfer, 4K monitor output, and delivering up to 70W power to your laptop.

Internally, the 1big Dock is built around a 7,200rpm Seagate IronWolf Pro hard disc that’s covered by a five-year warranty. Four storage options are available, ranging from 4TB for £340 to 16TB for £640. The drive is readily accessible from the front of the housing via a removable tray, should you need to swap it out.

When you connect the device to your computer, the large blue light on the front turns on, while a small LED on the side indicates drive access. Should you wish to turn off the drive (and light) manually, the power button is located on the back. This is awkward but it should prevent any accidental shutdowns.

The disc can be removed via a slide-in tray.

With such a device, file transfer speeds are crucial, and I found it performed well. Copying a full 64GB SD card to the hard disc took about ten minutes, equating to around 100MB/sec, while the drive was capable of at least 230MB/sec transferring files to or from an external SSD. This is considerably quicker than a standard desktop drive.

Emergency Data Recovery

For additional peace of mind, you’re covered by LaCie Rescue Data Recovery Services. Should the hard drive fail, you’re eligible for one free professional lab-based recovery attempt. LaCie claims a 90% success rate, returning your data on a physical device while also making it downloadable from cloud-based storage.

LaCie 1big Dock: Our Verdict

Given its price, the LaCie 1big Dock is a premium option for users who need to process large volumes of data without sacrificing speed. It may well be overkill for casual photographers – if you can’t see why you’d need it, you probably don’t – but for those who have demanding workflows, it should do the job admirably.