CMS ABSmini 40GB

CMS ABSmini 40GB

40GBpocketdrive.jpgWhen a USB key just won’t cut it, it’s time to bust out a handheld 40-gigger like the ABSmini. This rakish drive packs a 1.8-inch 40GB hard drive (also available in 20GB and 60GB) inside its chrome shell, and uses a USB 2.0 bus-powered interface.

It achieves its “backup system” status by including both file backup and media-management utilities—handy apps that are often missing from portable drive bundles. Though it’s rather pricey, the ABSmini works surprisingly well as a notebook backup system.

Operation is straightforward. Because it’s bus-powered, you just plug it into a USB port and—bada-boom, bada-bing—it works. The USB cable includes a second USB head to use in case a single port doesn’t draw enough power, but we never had any issues with it during testing. The only weird thing is that the included USB cable is incredibly thick—so much so that it’s difficult to wrap the cable around the drive when you’re not using it, so it just dangles awkwardly from the drive.

You’ll backup your data with the included BounceBack Express utility, which is a very streamlined but powerful backup utility. A media-copying utility called copy2go is included as well for copying audio and video, but the arcane file structures it copies to the ABSmini are difficult to organize. We love the backup software, but copy2go is just silly.

Our only other issue is with the unit’s paltry 4,200rpm 1.8-inch hard drive. Its performance is on the slow side, but still on par compared with similar drives. It’s expensive, but the ABSmini delivers on all its promises.
—Josh Norem0

Month Reviewed: December 2005

Verdict: 8



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