We thought only Western Digital was dipping drives into the Skittles rainbow, but SimpleTech’s new line of USB drives are just as colorful as their Western Digital counterparts. The devices in the Signature Mini line range in capacity from 120GB to 320GB and come in seven colors. We tested the 250GB Mini Kiwi, a 5,400rpm, 2.5-inch drive that’s one of the fastest portable storage devices we’ve reviewed.
The Mini Kiwi’s green case comes in a matte finish, not a polished shine. We’d love to see the latter someday!
But this fruit is bruised. The ArcSoft backup program failed to burn and create images from CDs and DVDs—it couldn’t find the optical drives on any of our Windows XP or Vista rigs. The program also limits your backup destinations to the Mini Kiwi.
Given its showy aesthetic, we were disappointed that the device’s on signal is an ugly red LED. Since the top of the Mini Kiwi looks like a button, we’re also surprised by the lack of a one-touch backup option.
The Mini Kiwi is speedy but not great in any other area. WD’s My Passport Essential (February 2008) is comparably fast and cheaper, and free programs like Idlebackup trounce the Mini Kiwi’s bundled software.
SimpleTech Signature Mini USB
One of the fastest portable drives we’ve tested. Stylish color options.
The disc-burning software couldn’t find our optical drives.
SimpleTech Signature Mini
WD My Passport Essential
Seagate FreeAgent Go
HD Tach Bust (MB/s)
HD Tach Rdm. Access (ms)
HD Tach Hvg. Read (MB/s)
HD Tach Avg. Write (MB/s)
Best scores are bolded. HD Tach benchmarks taken using HD Tach 220.127.116.11.