Iomega eGo Portable 500GB review

External USB 3.0 drive with drop protection
Photo of Iomega eGo Portable 500GB
£55

Iomega has clearly worked on the styling of its eGo Portable external hard drive, and the results are surprisingly easy on the eye. It’s not often we find ourselves being complimentary about the looks of a product as potentially dull as a chunk of storage.

At the device’s heart is a 5,400rpm, 2.5in laptop hard disk housed in an attractive shiny plastic shell. Our review sample is the smaller 500GB (465GB formatted) version. A 1TB drive is also available.

The casing offers a degree of drop protection, but there’s more insurance in the form of the ‘Iomega Power Grip Band Protector’, which is an X-shaped silicon cover that protects the corners and sides of the casing. In addition, the drive uses Drop Guard Xtreme technology to protect the Iomega from a fall of two metres by detecting the unwanted acceleration and then stopping the motor and parking the read/write heads to reduce damage.

Getting set up
The eGo Portable has a single USB 3.0 Micro Port at the rear. Iomega supplies a double-headed, Y-shaped cable in the package, presumably as insurance against a flaky USB connection that doesn’t provide quite enough current to power the device. During our testing, though, we only needed to use a single USB connection.

Once the eGo Portable is connected to your PC it appears in Windows Explorer as two separate drives. The main ‘USB Mass Storage Device’ provides the bulk of the storage, but there’s an 80MB ‘Virtual CD-ROM’ partition which holds the Iomega Encryption utility. This software works in conjunction with the 256-bit AES hardware encryption controller to keep your data secure if the Iomega is lost or stolen.

Users can also head over to www.iomega.com/protection and download copies of Iomega QuikProtect, v.Clone, Mozy Home Online Backup and Trend Micro Internet Security.

Performance
The eGo’s USB 3.0 connection provides much faster performance than USB 2.0, decreasing the time it takes to copy a 2GB data file from 143 seconds down to 65 seconds. That’s impressive, and makes the eGo well worth considering. The only fly in the ointment is the price which, at £55, is a touch steep for a drive of this capacity. It works out at 11.8p per GB, when we’d be happier if the price were closer to 9p per GB.

Company: Iomega

Contact: No phone

Positives
  • USB 3.0 interface, drop protection, encryption software.
Negative
  • The price is a little on the high side.

Verdict

Iomega has delivered a nifty little drive that offers 500GB of fast USB 3.0 storage that is supported by a decent bundle of software. In addition there is dedicated hardware that will keep your data safe from the perils of the modern world.