Best/Top 2.5" External Hard Drive for the price?

I was looking into buying a portable external hard-drive, simply a bigger "usb-key" to transfer & store data from one place to another (such as between home/work and home/friends) and therefore portability is rather important (small, light, no power cord, not loud) - thus 2.5" external. Nothing fancy and therefore nothing expensive (looking to spend around $125 CDN or less if possible), I've been doing a bit of shopping and have a few ideas of what would be some good choices but before making a purchase I wanted to get some feedback from experts & people who may already own these devices and see what the general concensus is.

My current main contender seems to be the Western Digital Passport Essential 2.5" 250 GIG USB drive, I've read a bunch of reviews and for the price (~ $125 CDN) it seemed like one of the best ideals around at the moment. Anyone have anything negative to comment on this drive or better alternatives? The only real negative I've seen is a lot of people saying it is actually a lot uglier then shown in the pictures and that it marks (scratches, finger prints, etc...) very easily.

I know FutureShop / BestBuy sell the ComStar/Zdata 2.5" 250 GIG USB drive for $99 CDN (unless I am wrong the Comstar [FS] and Zdata [BB] are actually the same unit), this was initially my frist choice (given the low price and the ComStar is on special) but from what I've read they are really cheap and seem to be nothing more then cheap HDDs in cheap enclosures (random at that) - anyone ever actually buy one and give some real feedback on their experience?

The only other alternative I considered was Fujitsu HandyDrive & the Verbatim 2.5" 250 GIG usb drives, however I found practically no reviews on either drive so I am hesitant to risk it.

BTW - I really don't care for any one of the backup software or anything fancy like that, I simply want a big USB KEY (backups will use some nifty eSATA drives when I have the $ in the future, not what I need for now).

Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.
(btw - I'm Canadian - otherwise it would be newegg all the way)
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More about best external hard drive price
  1. ioSafe. They're a bit more expensive than some, but they can survive fires, floods and being trampled by mooses (moose?) :-)
  2. I bought a zdata 250G 2.5" hd from bestbuy online Aug 2008, now it sometimes doesn't show up in windows explorer (June 2009), not sure if it's the cable, or the usb components inside the case, says 1 year warranty on the bb site, but when took it to bb, they said it's only 1 month with them, and I'd have to contact the manufacturer, I asked how to contact, they said google it, couldn't find with google, anyone know where to go?
  3. Cheers and we look forward to your Forum Favourites selections!

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