eGo Mac Edition 500GB review

Iomega’s new eGo drive is light and portable; in fact it’s just slightly larger than an iPhone. While the unit is sleek, it still has its design quirks. The activity light is at the rear of the drive next to the ports, it’s bright so you’ll know it’s on, but it seems odd not to have it on the front.

The drive has USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 connectivity and is bus powered. Iomega also includes a Y cable that draws power from two USB ports in case you have an older Mac that doesn’t generate enough power through a single USB port. This Y cable makes the eGo more versatile than competing portable drives.

Iomega claims its Drop Guard feature is designed to protect the drive from drops up to 1.3m. But we here at Macworld are a bit more thorough. We dropped the eGo from about 2m, and then kicked and tossed it around a few times to simulate accidental drops and angry tirades. The eGo experienced no slow down and the data remained intact, but it comes with a three-year warranty just in case.

The eGo performed admirably but not exceptionally in our speed tests. It copied 1GB of data from our Mac’s hard drive in 36 seconds when using its FireWire 800 connection. Though it runs quietly, because of its 5,400rpm mechanism the eGo isn’t as zippy as faster portable units that use 7,200rpm mechanisms.

In addition to a new look and a speed upgrade, the eGo line gets an improved bundle of backup software, which starts with Iomega QuikProtect for Mac, a backup program for simple scheduled file-level backup. You also get EMC Retrospect, a backup program for data, applications, and settings; and MozyHome, an online backup service with 2GB of online capacity available to the user for free (while unlimited storage space will set you back $5 a month [about £3]). This Iomega drive is Time Machine compatible.

The 500GB capacity is common for portable drives, but portable drives can’t compete with the speed of desktop drives. At £115.99, the Iomega eGo has a price per gigabyte of 23p – fairly standard for a new portable drive. The 500GB eGo is available in red or silver; a 320GB (£89.99) model is also available.

OUR VERDICT

The eGo has improved significantly, offering faster speed and a better software bundle. While not the fastest portable drive on today’s market, fans of Iomega will appreciate the rock-solid warranty and versatile backup options.

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