The Apricorn Aegis Portable 3.0 ($399 list) is a speedy USB 3.0 portable external solid-state drive (SSD) for users who need to transfer or work on active files right now. You will pay a pretty penny for the drive, but there are very few options out there that combine the ruggedness and vibration resistance of an SSD with a large 256GB capacity. It’s a good choice for that niche of well-heeled power users that never thinks that anything they use is fast enough.
Design and Features
The Aegis Portable 3.0 comes in a utilitarian chassis, looking very much like a mirror image of the Apricorn Aegis Bio 3.0. The Aegis Portable 3.0 has a silver front panel with a black swoosh line and logo, while on the Aegis Bio the colors are reversed. The drive chassis measures about 0.75 by 3.25 by 4.75 inches (HWD) and weighs about 0.25 pounds, making it one of the lightest pocket-sized external drives out there.
The USB 3.0 cord is permanently attached, which saves you from having to remember to bring the cord wherever you go. The drive chassis has a channel molded into the side, so you can keep the cord out of the way while you’re transporting it in your commuter bag. Apricorn included a Y-shaped extension cord in the box along with a quick start guide. The Aegis Portable 3.0 comes with a carrying case as well, so you can keep your drive protected.
The SSD comes formatted for NTFS, so it’s ready to go for most Windows systems. You can reformate the drive for HFS+ or exFAT, so you can use it with a Mac. The drive doesn’t come with any included software, unlike our current Editors’ Choice for portable hard drives, the Seagate Backup Plus. It can be argued that the potential user of such a speedy drive will be using the drive as a scratch disk or sneakernet drive, but it’s still a concern for some users.
The Aegis Portable 3.0 isn’t marketed specifically as a ruggedized drive, but its SSD mechanism has no moving parts, so it will survive and continue to operate in extreme temperatures and humidity, and in high shock/vibration environments, too. That puts it in the same league as drives like the Editors’ Choice for rugged portable drives, the LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt (120GB SSD), as well as the ioSafe Rugged Portable SSD (120GB) and Apricorn Aegis Padlock Pro SSD (256GB). The Aegis Portable 3.0 comes with a three-year warranty, which is reassuring to folks who are just starting to buy their first SSDs.
Drive performance is the reason you buy an expensive drive like the Aegis Portable 3.0, and it has that. Using its USB 3.0 interface, the drive got a high 4,360 points on PCMark 7′s disk test, an insane 37,652 points on the PCMark05 test, and took 11 seconds to transfer our 1.2 GB test folder. This outmuscles the ioSafe Rugged Portable SSD (3,946 PCMark7, 25,101 PCMark05, 16 seconds copy). SSDs prove their worth when compared with spinning drives like the Seagate Backup Plus (1,449 PCMark 7, 6,463 PCMark05, 15 seconds copy). Essentially, if you have the need for a speedy drive for copying large files, a large numbers of files, or need to work live on video or raw camera footage, then look into getting a SSD like the Aegis Portable 3.0 as an adjunct for your laptop or desktop.
We feel that drives like the LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt, the Editors’ Choice for rugged portable drives, will better serve people who are rough on their drives because of its cushioning and metal construction. The Seagate Backup Plus, the Editors’ Choice for portable hard drives, is more flexible and is at a better capacity and price point to serve a wider array of users. That said, the Apricorn Aegis Portable 3.0 is certainly a fast drive, and will serve you well if you absolutely need speed right now.
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||256 GB|
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