The LaCie 500 GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive is a great value for the storage capacity offered. When it works, it works as well as I could hope it too, but on one of the two systems I've tried it with, it sometimes does not work at all.
This hard drive comes preformatted for use with both Mac and Windows computers and can be reformatted for better performance if you plan on using it for one type of system only.
Although it could be used as either a backup or to transfer data, the rather bulky power block (coming it at around half the size of the drive itself) makes portability a slight issue.
As noted, this is a USB 2.0 device, and as such, you can expect rather high speeds when connected to a USB 2.0 port on your computer. I have experienced some compatability issues when using a USB 1.0 port, although I was able to eventually get the device to work, although at obviously reduced speeds.
Overall, the lack of compatability and the decreased portability make this device slightly less attractive. However, even with these flaws, this hard drive is still above average overall thanks to its impressive size and respectable speed.