External hard drives used to be really boring. Most manufacturers did little more than stuff and off-the-shelf consumer hard drive into an enclosure and mark the whole thing up by 200 per cent to make a tidy profit.
But a couple of things have changed. People expect high levels of reliability SSDs and new connection busses like USB3 and Thunderbolt have upped the performance ante, and the market expects stuff that is stylish and doesn't look like it was made in a Russian tractor factory. LaCie had a reputation for style and their Bolt3 offers performance that's comparable to an internal drive.