Iomega Professional External Hard Drive review
Iomega’s desktop offering is a brushed-aluminium slab with a perforated front that echoes the design of the Mac Pro, an impression the clean white activity light does little to dispel. But the product is firmly focused on the PC market: it comes formatted as NTFS, which OS X can’t read, and it doesn’t support Apple’s beloved FireWire.
What it does support is eSATA – the external variant of the SATA interface used for internal drives – and this opens up performance far in excess of what’s possible with USB. Via eSATA, the Iomega completed our 3,000-file read and write tests in just 16 seconds – half the time taken by even the fastest USB drives. The 3GB file test was even more impressive, slashing the USB record of 3mins 18 secs down to just 51 seconds. So if your PC’s equipped with the appropriate port, there’s a compelling argument right there to pick this model.
But even leaving eSATA aside, it’s still a super-fast drive: with a USB connection it achieved excellent average read and write speeds of 29.3MB/sec and 14.7MB/sec in our small files tests, and an equally impressive 33.1MB/sec and 24.8MB/sec with our larger files.
Of course, if you just want simple storage there are cheaper options. Although street prices for the Professional Hard Drive are pleasingly lower than the £91 exc VAT SRP, you’re still looking at 9p per gigabyte.
But the Iomega feels like a more professional choice, with a real power switch at the back and a stand for vertical or horizontal orientation. And, as with the portable eGo drive, the bundled software isn’t bad either: we particularly like Iomega’s NeverDown, which backs up your system so completely that you can actually boot it from the external drive should a disaster completely wipe your main disk.
Even without eSATA, the Professional Hard Drive would be a persuasive package (and in fact Iomega offers such an option, in the form of the USB-only Prestige model). But if your PC can take advantage of the stunning performance benefits of eSATA, it’s irresistible.
|Cost per gigabyte||8.6p|
|Hard disk usable capacity||931GB|
|Hard disk type||Mechanical|
|Write speed small files||14.7MB/sec|
|Write speed large files||29.3MB/sec|