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LaCie's pricey eSATA Hub connects two drives to your Thunderbolt port for $199

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LaCie says the eSATA Hub is now on sale at its store. The device connects two eSATA drives to a Thunderbolt port.

Gallery Photo: LaCie's external storage lineup at CES 2012 (pictures)
Gallery Photo: LaCie's external storage lineup at CES 2012 (pictures)

See that cute little glowing blue-eyed device in between Mama and Papa RAID arrays? Junior is the LaCie eSATA Hub we saw at CES, and its job is to connect a pair of external eSATA drives to a Thunderbolt port like the one you might have on your recently purchased Apple machine. LaCie says the device is now on sale for the rather substantial price of $199 from the company's online store, and though we're not actually seeing available for purchase quite yet, we imagine it'll arrive soon.

Since the device only uses eSATA 3Gb/s ports rather than the newer eSATA 6Gb/s, you won't be able to take advantage of the full speed of the latest solid state drives, but you can add capacity by daisy-chaining: since there's a pair of Thunderbolt ports on the eSATA Hub, you can connect up to six Thunderbolt devices in total to max out the bandwidth. Remember, though, the bleeding edge isn't cheap: though eSATA cables cost just a few dollars apiece, you're looking at a $50 investment per cable for the Thunderbolt variety.