Here’s a marketing ploy that any company shouldn’t go without: be catchy and sound so French. LaCie Rikiki might be a good example of that. What it means actually? Well, the company claims it’s a French term for tiny. LaCie is actually a French company so it does stand to reason that they would talk, walk and breathe French.

Of course any marketing gimmick will be in vain if your company does not deliver what you promise. Measuring only 4.2 x 2.9 x 0.5 inches, LaCie Rikiki is one of the smallest hard drives in the market. Although the French are known for their panache when it comes to aesthetics, the LaCie has chosen the minimalist path this time with LaCie Rikiki’s design. The hard drive is encased in an aluminum enclosure. This design works for both protecting the enclosed hard drive and preventing smudges and fingerprints. Its sleek design is further accentuated by its black finish and the brushed texture. Each end of the enclosure is capped with a black plastic embossed with the LaCie logo. If you’re planning to put this in your pockets or your bag, you might want to put it in a protective case or sleeve. Aside from protecting it from scratches, it does protect the fabric of your pocket or bag from snagging on the angled corners of the enclosure.

The LaCie Rikiki is USB powered and does not need additional power supply. There is small led indicator in one end. For portability, the short 5 in mini-USB to USB power adapter comes handy. However, it does seem short if you want your hard drives easily maneuvered around a cramped space on your desk.

When you plug-in the Rikiki, it asks you if you want to format your hard drive, the pre-configured LaCie Setup Assistant will ask you if you want to format the drive for Mac or PC. Just choose one and you’ll be ready to you use it in just a few seconds. It also comes with its own back-up management software something you definitely should maximize with all that hard disk space available. The USB Boost software that comes with it also refines your USB transfers to maximize speed. However, instead of the 33% boost to the speed it only delivers at most 15% increase in the speed. Not a bad enough performance but to actually advertise 33% percent makes it a bit anti-climactic.

Speed tests actually show that it does perform adequately for a 5400 rpm drive. Although transfer speeds are not record-breaking, LaCie did advertise Rikiki for its portability and not so much for its rapid file transfers.

It comes in 250GB, 500GB and 640GB and prices are for $75, $105 and $130 respectively.

Bottom Line

Portability being the keyword here, LaCie Rikiki is already beyond expectation. To think you could fit at most 640GB of data in a palm-sized device is already worthy of data bliss. It is still, however, a spindle-type storage so it still has an ample bulk with it; though 128g is not enough to develop those biceps. Also, spindle drives could also be less stable if it does get bumped around—something that portable devices are prone to endure anyway. Just be sure you get a nice protective case for this or you might be saying goodbye too soon to your 640GB.