We’ve reviewed several models of the eGo series of external hard drives from Iomega over the years. The eGos offer a variety of stylish storage solutions to keep your important files safe. In recent years, I omega has focused on colorful casings, slimmer portable drives, and a range of storage capacities. This year, the eGo Desktop Hard Drive and eGo Portable Hard Drive have both received a much needed performance update thanks to the power of USB 3.0. We took a closer look at the newest 500GB eGo USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive ($120) to find out just how much faster “SuperSpeed” is compared to USB 2.0.
One essential accessory that almost every PC or Mac user ends up buying sooner or later is 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’re finally seeing 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.
Iomega’s latest version of the eGo Portable Hard Drive promises to bring the power of “SuperSpeed USB 3.0” to your laptop, but is it that much better than old USB 2.0 models? Let’s take a look.
Build and Design
In terms of the basic external shape and dimensions the new Iomega eGo Portable Hard drive is virtually identical to last year’s model with the same size and weight as the previous generation of Iomega eGo Portable drives. The biggest difference is that the new eGO features a new USB 3.0 port and comes with a single USB 3.0 cable.
- Dimensions (HxLxW): 0.625″x5.375″x3.51″
- Weight: 0.4 lbs/0.18 kg
- USB 3.0 “SuperSpeed” cable, Length: 12″
The size and shape are impressive, and although the new eGo isn’t the smallest external hard drive we’ve reviewed, it certainly is compact. The aluminum enclosure comes in only one color at the time of this writing: Charcoal Gray. Iomega still offers the eGo portable series in other colors if you’re willing to stick to USB 2.0 only, but gray is the only choice for USB 3.0 performance. All of the various colors should keep their shine for several years thanks to the glossy automotive-quality paint job used by Iomega.
The glossy, automotive-quality paint job looks very attractive, but I did manage to scratch the finish by dropping my car keys in my 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 blue 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 previously 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. The new USB 3.0 drive takes advantage of the higher power output of the USB 3.0 port and comes with a single USB cable that is easier to pack in your laptop case.
The new eGo USB 3.0 drive and cable are still completely backward compatible, so you can still use this portable hard drive with an older USB 2.0 computer … at USB 2.0 speed.
Bundled free of charge with the Iomega eGo drive is the “Iomega Protection Suite” … a software package including a free 12-month subscription for Trend Micro Internet Security, Iomega QuickProtect file-level backup software, EMC Retrospect Express HD for complete system backup, and a free 2GB account for the MozyHome online backup service.