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Maximum PC Staff

Jul 15, 2009

Clickfree Transformer

At A Glance

HD Video

Backing up doesn't get anay easier than the Transformer.

HD Crash

Too focused on the extension-based document backups; may miss critical .exe files.

Keeping backups simple, stupid

Clickfree’s Transformer may look like an overweight USB key, but it is—forgive us, Optimus Prime—more than meets the eye.

Plug any generic external USB hard drive into the Transformer, then plug the Transformer into a USB port on your PC, and a backup app auto-launches and starts a countdown to begin an automatic file backup of common file extensions. You can interrupt the countdown and add more file extensions that the app doesn’t recognize by default. The document formats it grabs are fairly extensive, but if you want it to also copy that comic book archive in .cbr format, you’ll need to add the extension first

With the Transformer residing between your PC and a USB hard drive, all your data can be backed up (or restored) effortlessly.

You use the same application to restore your documents; you can choose to restore individual files or all of them, if needed. The files are stored in plain view on the hard disc, and even better, this doesn’t preclude you from using the drive for other purposes. And instead of converting your drive to some obscure ST disk format that you wouldn’t be able to access should you lose the Transformer, you can access the drive from another PC.

There’s very little to dislike about the Transformer, except that it’s too focused on file-based backups with common extensions. The backup will ignore .exe files—so if you purchased an app that you save in a folder on your desktop, you’d better remember to add the extension. We think the Transformer app should automatically back up all files on the desktop and in My Documents, on general principle, regardless of the extensions.

Still, that’s a weakness that will only hurt nerds in an HD failure. This is a great solution for those friends and family members who never manage to back up their PCs. The Transformer will do the job and do it easily, which means that it will get done.

THE VERDICT

Clickfree Transformer

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