I retired a 250 GB USB 2.0 mobile hard drive design by F.A. Porsche and sold by LaCie. When I cracked open the case, the result was not all I hoped to see. LaCie have some great ideas but you have to look close to find out exactly what you get.
The case, in the photographs, looked like a sturdy aluminium case that would conduct the heat away from the disk and suppress some of the noise from the disk. After I purchased the product, I noticed there was very little suppression of noise from the disk and the top of the case was distinctly different from the bottom. When I finally open the case, the top and sides, where the most heat builds up, is plastic, not aluminium. The base is metal but that does not help as heat rises.
I thought about recycling the case for an SSD because the case does look nice but it takes IDE disks, not SATA disks, and SSDs are 2.5", not 3.5". New aluminium 2.5" cases cost only AU$30 and are USB 3.0, a big step up from USB 2.0. Even the power supply is non standard, making it useless for active recycling as a working component. There is nothing from the LaCie that can be actively recycled.
In the end, I threw out the case with the disk. Disks are one area where advances in technology are making old stuff obsolete a long before they wear out. Computer cases are lasting 10 years, power supplies last more than 5 years, but disks with 5 year guarantees are obsolete in less than 3 years.
If the LaCie case had been built of solid aluminium, I might have recycled it as a storage box or put it in the metal recycling bin. Instead it is all just landfill trash.
Looking at the LaCie current products for a replacement does not help. They have really nice modern USB 3.0 cases containing old fashion magnetic disks but nothing with SSD. Instead I will go to other brands for the case then add my own SSD.
Either AU$33 for a cheap solid case or AU$47 for a possibly better case, based on brand, plus an SSD of which there are many brands with models in the higher end of the SSD performance range without staggering prices. There are some fabulous USB 2.0 cases from manufacturers in the process of converting to USB 3.0. When their titanium, gold, and platinum cases with the diamond encrusted Barramundi and crocodile skin cases are upgraded to USB 3.0, everyone will be able to buy an SSD case to match their outfit from Rodeo Drive. I will settle for plain old aluminium (once the most precious metal in the world) wrapped in a nice linen carry case (linen is plant based and sustainable) presented in a simple Huon Pine case (Huon Pine is now so rare, it cost more than gold based on weight).
An OCZ Enyo 64 GB SSD is ready made with fast access, USB 3.0, and a great case. The only things holding back my decision are the excess of options and the knowledge that the instant I buy something, the manufacturers will release something better.