Feeds

Ten Essential... 500GB Portable Hard Drives

Half a terabyte in the palm of your hand

Top three mobile application threats

Product Round-up Portable hard drives may not offer the capacity or speed of their desktop siblings, but for laptop owners looking for handy back-up space or extra storage capacity, they're a must.

Users of desktop computers too like their bus-powered plug-and-go convenience, especially if raw storage capacity isn't of paramount importance.

But with so many drives on offer, which do you choose? I put ten 500GB drives from all the major manufacturers through their paces, testing their performance with CrystalDiskMark 3.0 and judging them on their price, looks and the overall user experience they offer.

RH Numbers

Buffalo MiniStation Lite

Buffalo MiniStation Lite

I tested the shiny gold version of Buffalo's MiniStation Lite series, and while this particular model is a bit on yuck side, the design itself is fine if a little bland. It's also one of the large drives I looked at, though it feels less chunky than the similarly sized Toshiba Stor-E and the Hitachi G.

Price-wise it's towards the top end and its performance characteristics were average - until I ran the bundled Turbo USB utility. It pushed sequential read speeds right up, and lifted random read speeds up to. Write speeds also benefited a little.

In fact, the Buffalo's overall software bundle is good, combining Turbo USB, a disk formatting tool, a utility to reduce the drive's power consumption and Memeo AutoSync for duplicating folders on your PC on the drive and keeping them up to date. It's not a back-up tool - delete a file on your computer and it's removed from the Buffalo - but it does ensure you have a mirror copy of your data.

Buffalo MiniStation Lite

Reg Rating 80%
Price £90
Size 130 x 81 x 15mm, 190g
More Info Buffalo

RH Numbers

Dane-Elec SO Mobile Plus

Dane-Elec SO Mobile Plus

Two things really put me off Dane-Elec's SO Mobile Plus: the poor back-up software and the off performance characteristics. The back-up app is FNet's crude PCClone EX Lite, a tool that doesn't appear to have been updated since Windows XP was in short trousers and is a classic case of low-cost software obtained in Asia: the very poor English is a giveaway. You can download better freeware than this.

The SO Mobile Plus yielded the poorest read speeds of all the drives tested, though write speeds were above average, suggesting it would make a good back-up drive if the bundled software were replaced. That seems to be the role Dane-Elec has in mind - there's a wee button on the back that triggers PCClone EX Lite. But we live in the days of automatic backup and so this didn't impress me too much.

Dane-Elec SO Mobile Plus

Reg Rating 60%
Price £90
Size 134 x 84 x 15mm, 180g
More Info Dane-Elec

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.