USB 2.0 Pocket Hard Drive
If there’s one thing there’s an excess of these days, it’s stuff. Video, music, photos, interactive Flash games and amusing clips we’ve unturfed – we clog up our hard drives and removable media with it.
So what do you do with all those photos you’ve taken, music tracks you’ve laid down or your portfolio of designs you want to take in to show your clients? Traipse an iBook or a full-size external hard drive round town with you? You’d probably prefer something compact – about the size of a make-up compact, in fact.
Seagate has come up with exactly this: a 5GB drive that supports USB 2.0 with Macs or most Windows-based PCs. Swivel the black part to reveal a short connector, plug in, and it will flash blue to indicate it’s connected. We copied 1.6GB of mixed graphics, photos and general office documents from the drive in 9 mins and 8 seconds.
The drive requires juice, so you can’t simply plug it into a keyboard – it needs to be attached directly to your computer, or a powered hub. This isn’t an issue with an iBook, but if you’re copying files to a desktop machine, the drive either ends up dangling from a front-mounted USB 2.0 port or you have to reach behind to plug it in. You may want to keep a USB extender cable to hand.
Seagate won an innovation award for this drive at CES in January and, other than the short cable, our only real criticism is that its casing is plastic and is not as sleekly finished as some Mac products.
The Seagate 5GB drive is just the ticket if you primarily use an iBook or PowerBook. It copies files quickly and is cunningly designed so annoying cables coil back along its perimeter when not in use. Desktop G5 users may find the 12cm cable irritatingly short. Also, the price is close to that of the iPod mini, which makes it a more attractive storage solution.