Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive 500GB review

Price when reviewed

Portable drives demand less space than desktop models, and since they don’t require a separate power cable they’re more convenient to carry around. We’ve long been particular fans of Iomega’s eGo range, a showy series of drives in various colours that add a note of elegance, rather than clutter, to your workspace.

Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive 500GB review

But all portable drives are a trade-off. For a start, performance tends to suffer. Once, slow USB 2 connections masked the difference in performance between desktop units and their smaller counterparts; but now, with that bottleneck out of the way, the gap is very clear. So it’s no surprise that, the eGo is much slower than a USB 3 desktop drive.

Indeed, even by portable drive standards it isn’t a star performer: in most of our tests it achieved below average scores, reading and writing large files at 67MB/sec and 73MB/sec respectively. In the small file write test its 18MB/sec average was one of the slowest we’ve seen.

Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive 500GB

But it’s worth remembering that, even at its worst, the eGo still proved at least 40% faster than a USB 2 drive, and for reading and writing large files the improvement was closer to two and a half times.

Another downside of portable drives is price: on a per-gigabyte basis the Iomega eGo Portable is more expensive than a desktop drive. But at 13.5p per gigabyte it’s actually cheap by portable standards.

And Iomega sweetens the deal with some worthwhile freebies. You get a full year’s licence for Trend Micro Internet Security (which detected 97% of online threats the last time we reviewed it), a free copy of EMC’s simple Retrospect Express backup suite and a new tool called v.Clone which lets you carry a virtualised copy of your home PC with you wherever you go. It’s a great idea, so long as you remember to sync it regularly.

If you want a fast drive for a low price you’re clearly better off with a desktop model. And even among portable drives, the Iomega eGo Portable isn’t the best performer. All the same, it’s still a big step up from USB 2, and compared to its rivals it’s a well-priced and beautiful device. For those reasons, if you’re set on a portable USB 3 drive, this is our favourite.


Cost per gigabyte13.1p
Hard disk usable capacity465GB
Hard disk typeMechanical

Performance tests

Write speed small files18.0MB/sec
Write speed large files67.0MB/sec

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