Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive 500GB review
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.
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.
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 gigabyte||13.1p|
|Hard disk usable capacity||465GB|
|Hard disk type||Mechanical|
|Write speed small files||18.0MB/sec|
|Write speed large files||67.0MB/sec|
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