Ten... Portable USB 3.0 HDDs
SuperSpeed pocket drives tested
Product Round-up USB 3.0 has been with us for nearly two years now, not that you’d notice, as adoption and availability of peripherals has been somewhat slow. However, things are looking up now as more and more portable HDDs are coming to market featuring the not-so-new interface. Here at Reg Hardware, we've put together a round up of the current crop so you know whether to buy or walk on by. Each drive is rated bearing in mind cost, portability and speed with a CrystalDiskMark 3 performance comparison chart at the end.
Buffalo MiniStation HD-PCTU3
The MiniStation HD-PCTU3 is a pretty spartan unit with a design as inspiring as its name. You get a black (or white) plastic case and LED activity light bar containing your choice of a 500GB or 1TB 2.5in disk. A two-year warranty is included as well as Buffalo’s own backup utilities and something called TurboCopy, which is supposed to further improve transfer speeds.
I tried out TurboCopy and promptly removed it because it caused Explorer to crash in Windows 7 if you attempted to copy anything using the contextual menu. Drag-and-drop still works and utilises TurboCopy, but it actually slowed things down by about 2 seconds when copying a 1GB file from the MiniStation. Overall, it's pitched at a decent price but is among the slowest models on test here.
Reg Rating 65%
Price £41 (500GB), £71 (1TB)
More info Buffalo Technology
Freecom Mobile Drive Classic 3.0
A similar affair to the Buffalo drive, Freecom’s Mobile Drive Classic is a no-frills disk, but it does come with some software extras. Included on the drive is a copy of Nero BackitUp & Burn for those Windows users without similar software. Also, for both Windows and Mac, users is an app called Green Light, which is supposed to manage your drive’s power consumption. However, when I ran it I was greeted with a “no supported drives found” message. Nice going, guys.
Performance of this drive is moderate with read/write operations happening around 91MB/s. It’s also quite expensive, with Freecom asking for it’s 320GB drive what others are after for its 500GB offerings.
Reg Rating 65%
Price £60 (320GB), £75 (500GB), £90 (750GB), £120 (1TB)
More info Freecom
Next page: Iomega Prestige Portable
Samsung M2 1Tb
Well it is now past the 'later this month', it now being the next month - so where is the Samsung M2 1Tb for £80?
Later this month?
It was already the 20th when you posted! Rather than use some marketeer's future-possibly-not-true price, why not simply quote the actual price that of the thing at the time of writing? Or, at the very least, make it clear that the quoted price is in some way proposed/fictional.
It almost smacks of false-advertising and makes me wonder what else in the review was based on PR-puffery rather than actuality.
GoFlex USB 3.0
Take a look at the connector to the drive.
Take a look again :)
I use mine on naked SATA drives, works a treat.
I vote the GoFlex USB 3.0 *ADAPTER* as best product.
The proprietary Seagate drives themselves appear reasonably well packaged. When connected up, the whole get up feels reasonably solid and reassuring. Sure, they are not as rugged looking as some of the offerings here, but the ability to just about grab any current SATA drive and connect it to one's USB 3.0 port cannot be underestimated, ie data recovery etc... Especially if your lappie doesn't have an eSATA.
or if you couldn't be arsed to buy a Seagate drive and just use naked drives....
re: That has been part of the problem.
Not just hi-end stuff - my £200 netbook (an Asus 1015PEM) has two USB3 ports, and very nice they are too...
Where do I buy the 1TB Samsung for £80? A quick look around shows the 640GB model at £100.