From a design perspective, the Seagate FreeAgent Pro is nearly perfect. The company has turned out a device that looks, dare we say, Apple-esque. Or maybe Orange-esque, the prevailing color that glows and pulsates through the middle of the drive’s tower-like drive holder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Using Western Digital’s My Book Pro Edition II external drive is a lot like living next to an airport. If you’re a traveler, the five-minute taxi trip from your house to the airport is absolutely ideal, provided you don’t mind the constant sound of planes buzzing your rooftop. Seriously, the My Book is about as loud as it is useful—buy some earplugs and you’ll have a riveting experience.
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.
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.