A portable USB flash drive is one of those tools that is nearly essential to be able to carry your documents and files with you. While USB flash drives have no moving parts, they are very limited in capacity. They come in sizes as large as 1GB, 4GB, and I know it's possible there may even be an 8GB on the market somewhere. Unfortunately, some people would like to be able to carry more files or larger files such as their music collection, videos, or even backup images of their computer. In that case, it is practical to consider a portable external hard drive. I will be taking a look at Apricorn's latest Aegis portable external hard drive.
Different Kinds of External Hard Drives
There are different kinds of external hard drives in terms of overall size and capacity. I usually define them in three different categories. First, you have the desktop external hard drive. These are the full-sized external hard drives about the same size as an external CD drive. These drives usually have a capacity of more than 100 Gigabytes. The reason those units are large is because they use a 3.5 inch hard drive, the same kind used in a desktop computer. The second kind of external drives are the 2.5 inch hard drives. These hard drives are about twice the size of a deck of cards length-wise and have a capacity of about 40-100 Gigabytes. The smallest external hard drives use a 2 inch hard drive or less and is of the type used in an iPod. These have a capacities between 20GB and 80Gigabytes. The Apricorn Aegis portable external drive falls in the middle with a 2 inch drive.
A Closer Look
The Apricorn Aegis portable external hard drive is about the size of a large coaster. It may or may not fit in your pocket depending on the size of your pants pocket. The drive came in a silver color at the front and black on the back. There is an LED in the front of the drive that is used to show the drive status. The drive's USB cable is integrated along the side of the drive and can be pulled out to extend up to about 3 inches. This drive is bus-powered meaning that you can just plug the drive into the USB port in your computer and it will work without an external power supply. There's nothing to look at the back of the drive except the tiny rubber feet which prevent the drive from sliding around.
Given the size of the drive, I doubt people will want to carry this drive in their pocket for extended times or to use daily. Therefore, this drive seems to be more appropriate to use with a laptop where you can occasionally store files from your notebook to the external hard drive.
The product was complete with the extra accessories included which is what I like about Apricorn's products. Included is a USB extension cable for those times were you need some extra length to reach a USB port. There is also a USB splitter cable to allow you to plug in your drive to your computer without sacrificing another USB port. Lastly, there is Apricorn's software CD which contains a variety of software in those situations that you need it. The software contains backup, encryption, cloning, and SMART control software. Again, all these accessories and software makes this product as complete as you're going to get.
Using the hard drive is as simple as plugging it into the USB port on your computer. Your computer should automatically detect the hard drive and be able to use it immediately. The drive in this review had a capacity of 40GB., which is effectively 37.2GB of space to use.
Using Simplisoftware's HDTach benchmarking program, it was able to determine that the drive had a burst read speed of 35.4 MB with an average read speed of 26.9MB. Given these numbers it seems like this drive would have no problem handling files hundreds of Megabytes in size. However, if you start working with Gigabyte file sizes, it may take quite a bit longer.
A case has been included with the drive so you can protect it from unnecessary bumps and scratches. The silver paint on the drive seems like it can rub off easily if you're not careful with it. The case is made of neoprene so it will even protect it from splashes of water.
Apricorn's Aegis Portable External hard drive is an excellent product. The drive performs well and is packaged with all the accessories and software that you'll need. Compared with Apricorn's other hard drive products such as EZ-Bus desktop hard drive previously reviewed before, that hard drive has not failed on me yet and I use it as a main backup drive for my desktop system. I intend on using this drive to store a bunch of files and then updating this review with a long-term update. If you think the size of this drive may not fit your needs, I would definitely recommend taking a look at Apricorn's other offerings.