Good things appear in baby packages–and back it comes to storage, the adage couldn’t be added true. No amount what admeasurement your abstracts set is, you can acquisition a stylish, pocketable admiration of avant-garde miniaturization to abundance it and carriage it.
Tiny Size: Car keys (left) aren’t out of calibration with Samsung’s 120GB S1 Mini and WD’s 500GB Elite drive.>All carriageable accumulator units do basically the aforementioned thing, but these canicule they appear in added flavors than you’ll acquisition at Baskin-Robbins. PCWorld Labs activated 22 models, from the credit-card-size Samsung 120GB S1 Mini to the latest abundant yet graceful 1TB Seagate FreeAgent Go and Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1TB drives. We activated dockable models, ruggedized units, and multiple-interface units that can affix to about any PC. Abounding of them came with decidedly able customized software bales that pop up the minute you attach the drive.
There’s article for everyone; and some of the analysis after-effects we acquired will surprise–if not delight–PC fans. For a ranked blueprint of the best outstanding models we examined, see “Top 10 Carriageable Adamantine Drives”; for a account of all 22 models we tested, calm with bottom-line assessments, see “Lab-Tested: Carriageable External Adamantine Drives.”
Interfaces: Iomega’s eGo (left) and Rocstor’s Rocport ID9 (right) use USB, FireWire 400, and FireWire 800. WiebeTech has eSATA, USB, and FireWire 800.>Our calendar of drives includes models from Adata, Buffalo Technology, CMS, Hitachi, HP, Iomega, LaCie, Rocstor, Samsung, Seagate, Toshiba, Verbatim, Western Digital, and WiebeTech. Of the 22 drives we tested, 17 alone use the USB 2.0 interface. Best of those 17 accept a mini-USB port, but the Western Digital models use micro-USB connectors (most generally begin on corpuscle phones).
Five drives accept FireWire 800 or 800/400 interfaces as able-bodied as USB 2.0, and the WiebeTech ToughTech XE Mini has an eSATA port, too. Though it offers amazing speed, eSATA charcoal attenuate on carriageable drives. The Airhawk, Rocport, and SureFire models are termed triple-interface drives while the WiebeTech is alleged a quad-interface drive.
Models with added interfaces tend to amount a bit more, but dual-interface USB/FireWire 400, triple-interface USB/FireWire 400/FireWire 800, and quad-interface USB/FireWire 400/FireWire 800/eSATA drives behave bigger beneath abounding affairs and bear above achievement back affiliated via article added than USB.
Depending on the test, the eSATA-based WiebeTech ToughTech XE Mini and the FireWire 800-linked Rocstor Rocbit FX KT, Rocstor Airhawk A9, Rocstor Rocport ID9, and Iomega eGo ran about two to three times as fast as the USB 2.0 drives.
Though eSATA is the fastest interface, two drawbacks arrest its applied amount in carriageable drives. First, the eSATA adapter was not advised to backpack power, so you charge use an AC adapter to ability a drive using the eSATA interface. Second, eSATA drives aren’t anxiously hot-pluggable; in adjustment for the drive to appearance up beneath Windows Explorer as a drive letter, you charge bung the drive in afore you cossack or you charge reboot afterwards adhering it.
FireWire 400 and 800 behave the aforementioned way USB 2.0 does, except that they’re better. Seconds afterwards you bung a assemblage in, the drive letter appears; and clashing with USB 2.0, underpowered ports are rare.
Unfortunately, FireWire 800 ports are adamantine to acquisition except on Macs. Adding one to a Windows PC costs $30 or so for an add-in agenda and alike added for a anthology adapter card. FireWire 800 is backward-compatible with FireWire 400 (with an adapter cable); and acknowledgment to cameras and DVRs, those ports are almost common. The FireWire drives we activated included a FireWire 400 anchorage or an 800-to-400 adapter cable, so you can apparently application calm a FireWire 400 bureaucracy after an added banknote outlay.
Ability is an important affair with carriageable drives: eSATA requires a abstracted AC adapter, and abounding USB ports on netbooks, laptops, and alike PCs are underpowered. No one wants to backpack an AC adapter about with them. Of the 22 models we reviewed, 21 relied for ability on a distinct USB 2.0 anchorage on a desktop PC. The sole barring was the WiebeTech ToughTech XE Mini, with its unpowered aggregate USB 2.0/eSATA port. But alike the WiebeTech didn’t charge an AC adapter back absorbed via FireWire 400 or 800.
One way to accord with underpowered USB ports is to use a two-to-one USB cable that draws ability from two abstracted USB ports. Iomega’s eGo drive, all three Rocstor units, and Seagate’s FreeAgent Go advancing base alien with these hedge-your-bet accessories.
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