Media Bank Solo full review

There’s a lot of talk that computers will eventually abandon the moving hard drives they use today and move to solid-state flash memory – gaining significant performance boosts. Perhaps, but as the digital world’s forest of multimedia content grows denser, the need for safe storage becomes more pressing. It’s prudent to back up data, but when it includes several hundred pounds worth of iTunes purchases, high-capacity hard drives become essential.

Wrapped in an aesthetically pleasing aluminium case, Miglia’s Media Bank offers plenty of storage at around 50p per GB. The aluminium doesn’t just protect against impacts, it also works as a heatsink to keep the drive cool. Aluminium is an efficient heat-handler, so the Media Bank doesn’t need a built-in fan.

This means it runs very quietly with one less potential component failure. Mac users who have used single-line backup in situations where the fan has failed overnight will know there’s nothing to love about the smell of fried data in the morning. Some may prefer a drive with a fan, as unlike Marilyn Monroe, hard drives don’t like it hot – but is 120-degrees Fahrenheit really a concern?
The Media Bank holds a 7,200rpm 3.5in Western Digital IDE drive, (with 8MB cache). Western Digital has a great reputation for its products, so Miglia is confident enough to offer a unique three-year guarantee on its device. While the guarantee doesn’t extend to the data stored on the drive, it does at least mean that if it fails a user won’t be left without some backup to their backup.

With Apple seemingly moving away from FireWire, it’s fortunate this solution supports USB 2.0 too. It has two FireWire 400 ports – you can daisy-chain it to other devices – and one USB 2.0 port. Transfers over both connections are as fast as you’d expect, and in use the drive is whisper quiet. While transferring data to and from the drive a row of small blue LEDs on the front of the machine flash to show activity. That’s not so remarkable, but does add to an already attractive case. Two models are available (160GB and 300GB), with a third chassis-only option for users happy to install their own hard drives (but it doesn’t support SATA drives). In iPod language, the 300GB MediaBank holds 23 hours of digital video or 75,017 tunes (in MP3 format). Will that do?

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