- Extremely fast over USB 3.0, still speedy over USB 2.0
- Plug-and-Play simplicity
- 1TB model includes "Power Grip Band"
- Notebooks without USB 3.0 require an adapter for USB 3.0 speed
- 1TB model thicker than lower capacities
- Glossy exterior prone to fingerprint smudges and scratches
Earlier this year Iomega became the first PC storage company to announce that it would convert all its external USB hard drives to the new USB 3.0 standard. The Iomega eGo series of external hard drives has been known for colorful casings and a range of storage capacities, but now Iomega wants to take the lead in performance as well. We took a closer look at the newest 1TB eGo USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive ($159) to find out if having a 1TB portable drive is worth the hefty price.
For better or worse almost every PC or Mac user eventually ends up buying an external hard drive. Eventually the internal hard drive or SSD that came with your laptop will fill up with software, family photos, music, email attachments, video downloads, and games. USB hard drives have satisfied our need to store precious data, but the old USB 2.0 port is painfully slow compared to the hard drive inside your notebook. This year we’ve seen notebooks with USB 3.0 and several companies now offer USB 3.0 ExpressCard adapters so we can add USB 3.0 to older laptops. At last, we can add external hard drives to our laptops that are virtually as fast as our internal hard drives.
Build and Design
In terms of the basic external shape and dimensions the new 1TB Iomega eGo Portable Hard drive is roughly the same length and width as the 500GB model we previously reviewed, but the enclosure is almost twice as thick in order to accommodate the physically larger hard disk drive. Other than the beefier exterior and a modest increase in weight, this eGo is virtually identical to last year’s model.
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 5.15″ x 3.67″ x 1.02″
- Weight: 0.9 lbs
- USB 3.0 “SuperSpeed” cable, Length: 12″
Although the size and weight are a bit much for a portable hard drive, most consumers are probably willing to overlook that since you’re getting 1TB of storage and USB 3.0 transfer speeds. Now that Iomega’s entire line of USB hard drives is moving to USB 3.0 all the aluminum enclosures come in your choice of Ruby Red, Midnight Blue, Charcoal Gray, or Black. All of the various colors should keep their shine for several years thanks to the glossy automotive-quality paint job used by Iomega. In addition, the latest generation of eGo hard drives now include the Power Grip Band: a color-coordinated rubber band that provides extra protection in case you accidentally drop the hard drive.
The glossy, automotive-quality paint job looks very attractive, but you can scratch the finish by dropping car keys into you laptop bag next to the eGo drive. The exterior of the drive is extremely Spartan with only the mini-USB SuperSpeed port and an activity light located on one side of the drive. The LED activity light stays constantly lit when the drive is plugged in and idle, then it flashes on and off when the drive is active.
Iomega included a “Y” cable for connecting the eGo Portable Hard Drive to older notebooks or budget netbooks that might require two USB 2.0 connections in order to power an external hard drive. That said, all of the notebooks and netbooks we used during the testing period were able to supply enough power via a single USB connection.
For those of our readers who aren’t familiar with USB 3.0 devices, the new eGo USB 3.0 drives and cables are completely backward compatible, so you can still use this portable hard drive with an older USB 2.0 computer … at USB 2.0 speed.