Aegis Portable 80GB Review

The Apricorn Aegis Portable features a compact silver-and-black plastic enclosure about the size of a wallet. We reviewed the Aegis 80GB model, but the Aegis is also available in capacities ranging from 40GB to 160GB. Apricorn offers a similar model sporting a single tethered USB cable in the same capacities. The single port keeps its size down (it’s the smallest and lightest drive we’ve looked at recently), in spite of the built-in cable’s bulk.

While the 5.5in cable may be perfect for use when the drive is situated next to your MacBook, the drive includes a 39in extender cable for use when FireWire ports are harder to reach. It also comes with a protective case made of stretchy black neoprene. The software bundle includes imaging and synchronisation utilities, ShirtPocket Software’s SuperDuper and Synchronize X Plus. However, these are the standard versions, which you can download for free from the web.

Although the drive immediately appears on the desktop, it ships formatted for Windows (FAT32), necessitating a quick visit to OS X’s Disk Utility for reformatting during setup.

Overall performance was average, but consistent with that of other portable drives we’ve recently benchmarked. In the 1GB file copy test, the Aegis Portable was neck and neck with three other portable drives, placing in the middle rank for both the 1GB duplicate and Photoshop tests.

OUR VERDICT

If you often remember to pack your portable drive but forget the cables, then this drive is for you. It doesn’t offer the flexibility of multiport drives, but you won’t miss this feature unless you plan on plugging the drive into a PC, where FireWire ports are the exception. While the full version of SuperDuper would have been welcome, the included standard version can create a bootable system clone. Apricorn’s use of a slower (5,400-rpm) internal mechanism in the drive is a good match for the limited bus power available from laptops. Although this decision has a negative impact on the drive’s performance, it results in an excellent per-gigabyte price.

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