Feeds

Ten Essential... 500GB Portable Hard Drives

Half a terabyte in the palm of your hand

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.