External Storage Guide
First Looks: Samsung S2 Portable External HDD
Storage Made Sleek
Thanks to Apple and their iPods, iPhones and MacBooks, there's been an increasing emphasis on presentation for tech products. Even your everyday, run-of-the-mill devices like portable hard disks must appear stylish. Enter the Samsung S2. Sure, it looks sleek, but is there more under that handsome façade? With a black 250GB Samsung S2 in hand, we investigate further.
Excuse Me, Are You a Supercar?
There's no doubting the S2's good looks. It is incredibly slim and it looks classy and expensive. As our review unit is black, the front plastic panel looks remarkably similar to the carbon fiber that's found on some of the world's fastest and most desirable supercars. Furthermore, the top of the S2 emits a soft blue glow when plugged into your computer, lending it that extra bit of elegance. The back of the S2 feels like leather, further accentuating its class.
Despite its good looks, there are some flaws in the S2. First, the S2 is an absolute fingerprint magnet. The front panel might look pretty and all, but once you remove the protective film that comes with it, you'll be hard pressed to keep it clean from fingerprints. Still, all in all, the S2 is definitely a looker.
So, the S2 looks like a supercar, but does it have the performance to match? We are happy to report yes. We cannot confirm the hard disk that is in used here, but in our tests, it took a zippy two and a half minutes to transfer 2GB worth of word documents and images.
We delved deeper with HD Tach, a popular hard disk benchmarking tool and found that the S2 had an average read speed of 34.5MB/s. Examining the graph of the S2's sequential read speed, we found that it maintained a steady rate through, indicating that the hard disk could probably have performed faster. In this case, we suspect it was let down by either by the USB connection or the fact that its internal USB controller is not up to task. Like an annoying electronic speed limiter, this greatly hindered the S2's performance, leaving its potential unfulfilled.
Samsung, while relatively new to the portable hard disk scene, has an inspired product in the S2. It has the looks and the performance to match, and to sweeten the deal, Samsung has bundled with it an auto backup software as well as SecretZone & SafetyKey, a virtual drive function that ensures that your data is secure.
Unfortunately, like Apple who expect their customer to pay a premium for their sexy yet functional products, Samsung too expects you to pay more for the S2. Its recommended retail price of $169 for the 250GB model here can get you a 320GB model from other competitors. In the end, we are not sure if the S2's sleek looks are enough to justify such a premium.