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500GB Portable (2.5-inch) HDD Shootout

500GB Portable (2.5-inch) HDD Shootout



Meet the Drives: Samsung, Seagate & Toshiba

Samsung S2 Portable

Talk about who made portable hard drives look cool and it's undoubtedly Samsung's S2 Portable series which first debuted a couple of years ago. Small, handy and bling colors to appeal to the ladies, it was hard to resist in its time. Today, its design is still relevant though not as outstanding when it was the only sexy little drive around.

If wine red isn't your taste, the S2 Portable comes in five other colors:- snow white, chocolate brown, piano black, sweet pink and ocean blue. It comes with a simple carry pouch, Samsung's auto backup software and SecretZone feature to store personal data away from prying eyes to those you loan the drive. What we didn't like? A short USB cable and an inappropriately located LED indicator. Ending notes are as follows:-

  • Multiple drive color options
  • Samsung auto backup software + SecretZone feature
  • Carry Pouch
  • Short USB cable
  • Bad LED indicator placement
  • 3 years warranty

 

Seagate FreeAgent Go

The thinnest portable drive of the lot at just 12.5mm thin, the Seagate FreeAgent Go looks sexy with its sleek aluminium casing and especially when it's powered on as white lights glow from the perforated design. It is however a bit lengthy in dimensions which may not be pocket-friendly.

Aesthetics aside, its retail packaging might be the only sore point of the drive as the clear plastic shell has to be cut carefully to gain access to your new drive - an experience which may be prone to cuts. Once you got your new drive out of the packaging, it has got a fair bit of useful features like the file and folder encryption (128-bit AES), password secured storage, and the Seagate Manager which acts as your diagnostics, backup and synchronization software.

On the drive's expanded ecosystem, Seagate also offers a dock for easy plug-n-play storage and turning your drive from a personal shared storage into a network shared storage. Also, the drive is compatible with Seagate's FreeAgent Theatre series of media players that are designed to comfortably take in the FreeAgent Go drives. These are of course other side considerations to utilize the drive, but primarily, we'll be evaluating the drive for its stand-alone capabilities. Here's a quick summary of pointers:-

  • Prominent drive status indication.
  • Slimmest portable drive in the market (but not the most compact).
  • Seagate Manager (diagnostics, backup, synchronization).
  • File and folder encryption (128-bit AES).
  • Password protected storage.
  • 5 years limited warranty.

 

Toshiba Portable HDD

Toshiba being in the hard drive manufacturing business, it comes as no surprise that they too have their own series of portable drives to offer. Toshiba has kept their naming scheme rather straightforward, but their drives have quite a glossy and artistic feel to their designs.

Apart from the pretty face, it features a Drive Space Alert function, password-protected data encryption and an internal shock sensor and ramp loading technology on the drive to quickly park the read/write head and actuator arm in safe zone and thus protecting your data and ensuring your drive's operability. NTI backup software is provided for both Mac and Windows based systems. What's there to dislike? In our opinion, it's the short USB cable a lack of proper drive status indication. So to wrap it up:-

  • Glossy finish may appeal to some but not all.
  • USB cable supplied is too short.
  • NTI BackupNow EZ for Windows and NTI Shadow 4 for Mac systems.
  • Drive Space Alert.
  • Password protected data encryption.
  • Internal shock sensor and ramp loading technology to protect the drive.
  • 3 years warranty.