There is only company that can make a hard drive not look like a boring hard drive. If you saw the Sphère on a desk, you wouldn't have ever guessed it was a hard drive.
Last year, LaCie showed off the Blade Runner, a beautiful $300 hard drive designed by famed designer Philippe Starck and this year it's partnered up with another premium brand to create a hard drive unlike any other.
The Sphère is the brainchild of Christofle, a world-renowned manufacturer of silver since 1830. Each silver-plated Sphère orb hard drive is hand-made and polished to perfection in Normandy, France; quality you'd find in the company's legendary silverware and jewelry.
Whereas the Blade Runner's organic and ribbed design helped dissipate heat, there is nothing particularly innovative about the Sphère. Inside is a 2.5-inch hard drive with 1TB storage. The Sphère is entirely bus-powered (USB 3.0), meaning it doesn't need any kind of power supply.
In other words, the Sphère is a portable hard drive wrapped in premium silver. It's a showpiece — an incredibly gorgeous, shiny ball of silver. (It's also next to impossible to photograph without any reflections.) And, of course it's expensive. LaCie is selling the Sphère for $490 at the end of the month in limited quantities.
If the Sphère is a little out of your price range and you still want some kind of premium-designed storage, LaCie also announced the Culbuto USB flash drive created by designer Constance Guisset.
Like the Sphère, the Culbuto is a decorative object; designed to sit and look pretty on your desk until you need to use it. The USB 3.0 flash drive has a solid base which allows it to balance itself on a surface without falling over. Its plastic cap has a slit to attach a business card or photo. The Culbuto will come in 16GB and 32GB models starting $49.99.
Posted on location at CES 2014. All photos taken by Raymond Wong for DVICE.