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Data Robotics Drobo

Data Robotics was a bit concerned about its Drobo external enclosure being tested in the Maximum PC Lab. After all, the name of the game at Maximum PC is speed. We hate that which is not fast almost as much as we hate that which doesn’t work out of the freakin’ box.

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Toshiba Portable External Hard Drive

We’ll get the bad news out of the way first. You aren’t going to win any speed competitions with Toshiba’s Portable External Hard Drive; we tested a 200GB version (the device itself comes in capacities ranging from 100GB to 200GB), and the resulting benchmark numbers are nothing for Toshiba to be proud of.

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OWC Mercury On-the-Go External Drive

There are three schools of thought concerning external storage solutions: build an oversized bookend that rocks out with huge amounts of storage, sculpt a supremely portable device that you’d actually want to carry around, or just make a plain-vanilla enclosure. OWC’s Mercury On-the-Go drive is a surprise contender in the second category, as it’s a delightful combination of portability and speed.

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StarTech InfoSafe USB 2.0 On-the-Go Drive Enclosure

It has always bothered us that in the 23rd century Starfleet couldn’t do more for poor Captain Pike than that blinking light. Heck, he couldn’t even Morse code “Help me… Spock!” with that blasted chair.

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Transcend StoreJet OTG

If the InfoSafe is original Star Trek, all papier-mâché and paint, Transcend’s StoreJet OTG is the first Star Trek movie. It’s got better graphics but still has some issues.

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Seagate eSATA External Hard Drive

We’ve been waiting several years for eSATA (external SATA, that is) to show up. This month we’re happy to see the first eSATA drive actually arrive to market. If you’re looking for an external backup drive that’s much faster than a standard USB or FireWire drive, Christmas has come early.

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Seagate 160GB Portable External

Seagate’s portable external drive sports the highest capacity in its class, by 40GB, thanks to its perpendicular recording technology, which packs more data on every platter of the hard drive. It comes in a rough-and-ready aluminum enclosure that keeps the drive both safe and cool.

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Maxtor One Touch III 100GB

Maxtor has downsized its awesome One Touch Turbo desktop backup drive into this 100GB Mini model. It looks exactly the same as the Turbo, and it comes with the same excellent software.

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Western Digital Passport 120GB

WD’s Passport is an all-around decent product, with a lot of storage and handy software, but fails to distinguish itself from similar Maxtor and Seagate products in any meaningful way.

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