LaCie is an American company founded in 1987 in Oregon. The main direction is the development and subsequent implementation of data storage systems. In 1995, it was completely bought out by the parent company Electronique d2, which, three years later, as a result of rebranding, officially appeared on the international market under the LaCie brand. Despite all the difficulties that had to be faced from the moment of foundation, the manufacturer invariably followed the initially set goals and objectives in the field of activity. From 2014 to the present, LaCie has been wholly owned by Seagate Technology, a world-famous developer of hard drives and storage solutions.
About the product
This is the second joint creation of the two giants Seagate and DJI Innovations. The release of the novelty took place at the international exhibition of consumer electronics CES-2018.
LaCie DJI Copilot is a portable and completely autonomous external drive with a capacity of 2TB, which allows you to quickly copy data from various devices, including UAVs, without using a laptop / PC, as well as view photos and videos in their original quality through a mobile application that does not require an Internet connection, share, edit with other applications, move to other devices connected to the drive, copy, rename and delete files. These are far from all the advantages of the device, therefore, according to tradition, we will start with the features.
- The famous Scottish designer Neil Poulton was involved in the development of the LaCie DJI Copilot drive.
- The device received the “Product of the Year” award in the “Video Accessories” nomination at the Photoforum 2018.
- Compact dimensions
- Does not require connection to PC/Laptop
- Impact-resistant housing
- Shock and vibration resistant system
- Protected from splashes and dust
- 2TB capacity (over 60 hours of 4K video or over 20,000 RAW photos)
- Built-in status screen
- Equipped with ports: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type‑A (formerly USB 3.0*); USB‑C
- Equipped with an SD card reader that supports UHS‑I and UHS-II SD card reading (with the ability to read MicroSD cards using the included adapter)
- One-button easy copy control on the drive
- Works with Copilot BOSS (Back-up On Set Solution) mobile app
- Compatible with a wide range of devices
- Has a built-in power supply
- Provides charging for connected USB devices
- Access to a 3‑year data recovery service plan
- Monthly access to the Adobe® Creative Cloud App Suite
*Recall that after the release of the USB 3.1 standard, the organization promoting and supporting USB — USB-IF (USB Implementers Forum) announced that USB 3.0 connectors with speeds up to 5 Gb / s (SuperSpeed) will now be classified as USB 3.1 Gen 1, and new connectors USB 3.1 up to 10Gbps (SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps) — Same as USB 3.1 Gen 2.
The drive reaches the consumer in premium quality packaging. The kit laid by the manufacturer allows you to immediately start working with any of the supported devices. The only set includes:
- Drive LaCie DJI Copilot
- Charger (with four interchangeable adapters for common socket types)
- 2 × cables for connecting the drive to a PC/Laptop: USB Type‑C — USB Type‑C (USB 3.1 Gen 2); USB Type‑C — USB Type‑A (USB3.1 Gen 1)
- 3 × custom (connection) cables for smartphone/tablet operation with Copilot BOSS app: Lightning (IOS) / Micro USB (Android) / USB‑C (Android)
- microSD adapter
- Adobe® Creative Cloud Monthly Bundle information sheet and activation method
- Information insert about the three-year data recovery service
- Quick Application Guide (in Russian and other languages)
At the time of unboxing, the DJI Copilot’s built-in battery had a 38% charge level.
On the disk, the user will find full instructions downloaded by the manufacturer in various languages (including Russian), as well as a warranty agreement.
Number of disks in the device:
Maximum data transfer rate:
Operating temperature range:
0 to 35°C
Neil Poulton, a permanent designer of Scottish origin for LaCie, worked on the development of the case of the most portable hard drive today. According to Neil, the Copilot drive, unlike other models of this brand he developed, received not only an impact-resistant silicone bumper, but also an entire internal system, thanks to which the drive is able to withstand shock and vibration without compromising its integrity and performance.
The DJI Copilot drive has successfully passed the multiple 2 meter drop test on a concrete surface. In addition, the disc received splash and dust protection.
Picking up Copilot, you will not notice that it has a screen, and it will be exactly until the moment when a device is connected to the drive from which data is planned to be transferred later, after which the status screen will immediately indicate its presence (you can also activate the display by pressing the button actions).
The main purpose of the display is to display current information and requests for further user actions. The LCD is not a touch screen and cannot be used to initiate any actions or respond to prompts. To confirm or cancel actions, there is only one button located on the disk body: the “Action button”.
It is known that in the early stages of development it was planned to implement a full-size color screen in the hard drive case, but none of the existing displays met the requirements of durability. Ultimately, this idea had to be abandoned.
The durable display was realized using a special film developed jointly with 3M. A lot of research was carried out before it was possible to get a shock-resistant display that meets all the requirements, which, in addition, according to the design of the developers, in the off state, should not be visible to the naked eye.
The only button on the drive that controls the drive in cases where control using a mobile device and the Copilot BOSS application is not relevant for the user. The operation algorithm is simpler than ever, a short press (within 1 second) confirms the action / request proposed on the status screen, a long press (3 seconds) cancels.
Copilot BOSS is a free mobile application that allows the user to fully manage files both on the LaCie DJI Copilot drive itself and on devices connected to it. Compatible OS: Android 4.4 and above / iOS 10.3 and above.
Appointment Copilot BOSS
- View files located on DJI Copilot, as well as on SD cards and USB devices connected to it in original quality;
- Copy files from devices connected to DJI Copilot;
- File management (sharing, editing with other applications, moving to other devices connected to the disk, renaming and deleting);
- Confirmation/cancellation of simple copy using a mobile device instead of the LCD status display and action button;
- Port queuing for easy copying via mobile device.
In the arsenal of the drive there are 5 ports for various purposes, which are located under a protective silicone cover:
- Port for charging the built-in battery of the DJI Copilot drive. The included charger is used for charging.
- The USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type‑A port (formerly USB 3.0) is designed to connect a wide range of devices to the DJI Copilot drive.
- The USB‑C port is exclusively for connecting DJI Copilot to a Windows PC/Laptop (Windows 10 and above) and macOS (macOS 10.12 (Sierra) and above). Pairing cables: USB Type‑C to USB Type‑C; USB Type‑C — USB Type‑A are included. With this connection, the Copilot BOSS application becomes inactive.
- Slot for Secure Digital (SD) memory cards (or microSD using the included adapter).
- Mobile device port. Used exclusively to pair DJI Copilot with a smartphone/tablet for file management via the Copilot BOSS mobile app without the status screen. Pairing is carried out using the supplied special user (connection) cable (one of three for IOS/Android micro-USB/Android USB‑C).
The drive supports a wide range of devices, including: UAVs, photo and video cameras (from amateur to professional), mobile devices, PC (Mac / Win), card readers, external HDD and SSD drives (including DJI CINESSD via DJI reader ) and others.
The copying process can be implemented both without the participation of a mobile device using just one action button on the DJI Copilot drive, and with its participation through the Copilot BOSS mobile application.
- Easy Copy (Full) — implemented with just one action button located on the DJI Copilot drive without the participation of a mobile device and application. With a simple copy, all files are copied to the DJI Copilot without exception. For example, when copying from a mobile device, in addition to photo and video files, all system files of this device will be copied. This copying option does not allow step-by-step data backup.
- Step copy – implemented when pairing DJI Copilot with a mobile device via the Copilot BOSS application using a special user (connection) cable (included).
In practice, the speed indicators of copying turned out to be the following:
- From DJI Copilot to PC via USB Type‑C to USB Type‑C wire, the data transfer rate was — 128 Mb / s
- From PC to DJI Copilot via USB Type‑C to USB Type‑C cable, data transfer rate was 128 Mbps
- With DJI Copilot on a PC via USB Type‑C to USB Type‑A, the data transfer rate was 127 Mb / s
- From a PC to DJI Copilot via a USB Type‑C to USB Type‑A cable, the data transfer rate was 127 Mbps
Note that in order to copy files from a memory card installed in a DJI UAV, it is not necessary to remove it from the quadcopter. It will be enough to connect the drive directly to the drone using the USB cable that comes with the drone and perform full or step-by-step copying.
As mentioned above, Copilot received a built-in power source that allows not only to provide autonomous operation of the drive itself, but also to charge USB devices connected to it.
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type‑A port — when connecting devices with their own power source that support charging via USB, it provides a charge with a current of up to 1.5A, devices with micro USB up to 900mA.
- Mobile device port — in addition to ensuring that the drive is paired with a mobile device, it also provides charging.
At the current time, there is no information about the built-in power supply of the drive in the device specification. However, over the seven days of the test period, we found that the average continuous operation time of DJI Copilot on a single charge (from 100% ‑4%*) was 1 hour 30 minutes. When simultaneously charging a smartphone (Meizu PRO 6), the operating time was no more than 1 hour.
*Note that when a critical remaining charge of 3% occurs, DJI Copilot will stop working with all connected devices, including the Copilot BOSS app, but will continue to charge a smartphone connected via a custom connection cable. The drive is then completely disabled.
Charging DJI Copilot
The drive supports charging the built-in battery in two ways:
- Classic with the included charger. Charging time from 0–100% in practice averages about 2 hours.
- When connecting the drive to a laptop/PC via a USB‑C connection. The charging time depends on the energy potential of the laptop / PC to which the connection is made. As described in the instructions.
In practice, with such a connection, the drive displayed an indication on the status screen: “Connected to PC.” The battery charge indicator was not displayed. The charge level of the Copilot remained unchanged during the entire period of operation. At the same time, it was noticed that if the cable was disconnected from the disk and connected again, the indication appeared: “No PC connect”, then “Only charge” (a lightning indicator was displayed on the status display). Then the drive went back to PC mode, and the charging indication disappeared. Based on this, we can conclude that this connection method only provides power to the drive, and not to charge it.
When the drive is not in use, its processor goes into power-saving mode, which completely eliminates the discharge of the built-in rechargeable battery. To maximize the operating time on a single charge, the developer has set a priority for this mode. As a result, the disk goes into it with any inactivity. Therefore, before using the drive, you need to “wake it up” with the action button and then carry out work.
Restarting DJI Copilot
Like any other high-tech device, the Copilot drive can be forced to reboot if necessary. The reset button is usually hidden behind a small hole that is located between the two USB Type‑A and USB Type‑C ports. Restart is realized by short pressing the button through the hole (for example, a paper clip).
An authorized LaCie dealer sells the drive at a price of 28,854 rubles.
- Premium quality workmanship
- Impact-resistant housing
- Resistant to shock and vibration
- Protected from dust and splashes
- Capacious (2Tb)
- Built-in LCD status screen
- Easy to use (one button operation)
- For full-fledged work with files, it does not require a connection to a laptop / PC
- Advanced control through the Copilot BOSS application that does not require an Internet connection to work, as well as the quality of the application itself
- Equipped with high-speed USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type‑A (formerly USB 3.0) ports for pairing; USB‑C
- Comes with high-speed USB Type‑C to USB Type‑C (USB 3.1 Gen 2) cables; USB Type‑C — USB Type‑A (USB3.1 Gen 1)
- Equipped with an SD card reader that supports UHS‑I and UHS-II SD cards (with the ability to read MicroSD cards using the included adapter)
- The complete set allows to start work at once without additional retrofitting
- Supports pairing with most of today’s devices, including drones
- Battery life on a single charge
- Can charge connected USB devices
- When working with the drive without the participation of a mobile application, the function of quick formatting SD / microSD cards was missing. Of course, this procedure can also be carried out through the software of drones or cameras, but still it would be more convenient and faster if the drive itself had such a function.
- Disconnecting the user (connection) cable from the drive will require accuracy and skill. The absence of free space around the square part of the connected plug precludes the possibility of normal extraction. In our opinion, over time, such an inconvenience can cause destruction, or even separation of the port from the main drive board, which ultimately will lead to the impossibility of full-fledged use of the product.
- When the drive is connected to a PC via the USB‑C port, it is only powered without charging.
- The protective bumper of the drive is easily soiled and requires care.
Without a doubt a revolutionary device. LaCie DJI Copilot will be appreciated by professionals of the photo-video industry for whom “Time” is of paramount importance. During the period of operation, the drive has proven itself exclusively from the best side, the very case when the expected coincided with reality. It is extremely simple in operation, such qualities as portability, autonomy, resistance to shock and vibration, as well as protection against dust and splashes in practice significantly simplify the operation of the disk. The only thing that DJI Copilot especially picked up was the function of quickly formatting memory cards with the action button, we hope the developers will listen and add this feature with the next update, since everything is solved programmatically. Despite the simplicity of the product, before using it, we still recommend that you read the detailed instructions that are filled in by the manufacturer on the media itself. This will save you from many secondary issues that will 100% arise in the process of getting acquainted with the device. We hope our experience was useful, thank you for your attention.