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Verbatim Insight

Verbatim InSight 500GB external hard drive

Coming clean on capacity

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Review Verbatim's InSight external hard drive is an unusual-looking offering, but that odd wave-like curve at the front is home to the unit's status readout screen.

Verbatim Insight

Verbatim's InSight 500GB: tells you how much space you have left

Unlike rival drive maker Western Digital, which also puts a status display on some of its drives, Verbatim has implemented a cholesteric liquid crystal display - the resolution is 128 x 21 - rather than E Ink. The upshot is the same: a drive name and space capacity readout that doesn't disappear when you yank the power.

The irritating thing is, it doesn't update until you do. Fill up your drive, and the InSight itself won't tell you that you have no more room until you unplug it, forcing the display to refresh. Not, to be fair, that you actually need the readout when the drive is connected, but I'd prefer something more dynamic.

Mini USB may no longer be an official part of the USB 2.0 spec - it's been replaced by the micro USB port - but it remains the de facto standard for portable external hard drive, and Verbatim has use it here. There are no other adornments on the slim, snap-together casing.

Verbatim Insight

Slimline

Verbatim includes a copy of Nero BackItUp 4 on the InSight. It's Windows only - Mac users get no help here, but Mac OS X has Time Machine of course - and one of the best bundled back-up tools I've seen.

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