Reminiscent of a hip flask, with its metal construction, smooth finish and sleek looks, Iomega’s eGo portable hard drive slides into a bag or pocket so you can tote important digital files wherever you go.
The drive gets its power from either the FireWire 400 or mini-USB ports. If your Mac’s USB port doesn’t provide enough power (the ports on a Mac laptop won’t, for example), Iomega includes a USB cable that can draw power from a second USB port.
The eGo comes formatted as a Windows FAT32 drive, which the Mac can read from and write to; but if you prefer using the Mac HFS file format, simply perform a quick reformat using Disk Utility. The included CD includes EMC’s Retrospect Express 6.1 backup software, but you’ll need to download an update from EMC to make it Leopard compatible.
Not surprisingly, the 5,400rpm mechanism inside the eGo turned in slower performance numbers than those put up by the faster, pricier 7,200rpm portables. Our file copy test was 33 per cent slower than LaCie’s Rugged drive. And, in contrast with most hard drives, testing on our Mac Pro revealed that the eGo’s USB performance slightly outpaced its FireWire speed, though USB performance lagged behind FireWire by a wide margin when the drive was connected to a PowerPC Mac. Iomega says the differences in USB speed is illustrative of the fact that certain Mac models have better integration with their I/O ports than others.
Since portable drives will probably be subject to plenty of travel, Iomega has included its DropGuard technology with the eGo.
Details were scant but it seems to be based around an internal cushion in the case, said to allow the hard drive to survive a drop of up to 1.3 metres. The dual interface models also have DropShock technology, which seems to be a requirement of the hard disk itself to withstand certain levels of shock, whether in operational or non-operational use.
The anodised finish is tough to withstand knocks, although we would have liked to have seen a soft case included to help preserve its good looks against the knocks of being carried loose in a bag.
While Iomega’s eGo is no speed demon, its sturdy construction, small size, and smart looks make it perfectly suited to mobile Mac users. The 250GB USB and FireWire model we tested comes in red, white or black; a 160GB version (£79.99) is offered in white or black, while the USB-only line of eGo drives (160GB to 320GB capacities, £64.99 to £99) come in a wider variety of colours.