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Portable Hard Drive advice

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July 22, 2010 4:08:45 AM

I'm looking to buy an external portable hard drive for under $70.

My main concerns are finding something that is durable and will last; has decent transfer speeds; and a good warranty/tech support.

Here are some models I have been looking at:

-Verbatim 250 GB USB 2.0 CLŌN Portable External Hard Drive (Black Matte Finish 97063)
Verbatim has a 7-year warranty that makes this drive attractive to me. It has a plastic housing which might not conduct heat as well as aluminum cases however.

-Transcend StoreJet 320 GB 2.5-Inch USB 2.0 Anti Shock Hard Drive (TS320GSJ25M)
Only has a 2-year warranty but seems to be very durable. It also may require 2 usb ports.

-Iomega Prestige 320 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive (34807_.
Has a 3-year warranty and has aluminum case. May require 2 usb ports.

-Seagate FreeAgent Go 250 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive (ST902503FGA1E1-RK)
-Seagate Expansion 250 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive ST902504EXA101-RK
Has a 5-year warranty but also probably needs 2 usb ports and has a plastic case.

-Samsung S2 320 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive (HXMU032DA/M22)

-Imation Apollo Portable Hard Drive
Has a 10 year warranty.

Any opinions on these models/brands or suggestions for other portable drives?

a c 415 G Storage
July 22, 2010 5:46:11 AM

It's very difficult to get hard data on reliability. In the absence of anything better, it's probably reasonable to use warranty as a proxy for reliability - not so much because it says anything about whether the drive is actually likely to fail or not but rather because at least you should have a longer replacement period in case it does fail.

As far as transfer rates go all of these drives are going to be very similar if you connect them using USB 2.0. USB 2.0 is a bottleneck for hard drives - if you want better performance you should look for a drive that supports USB 3.0 and/or eSATA and connect it to your computer that way. If your computer doesn't have that kind of connectivity you could buy an adapter card to add it.
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a c 415 G Storage
July 23, 2010 3:42:07 PM

I'd think that comments about the physical aspects of the case (such as the USB connector comments) would be something to pay attention to.

Other than that, I haven't bought an external hard drive for several years now (I've started using bare desktop drives with a drive docking station), so I can't really recommend anything specific.
July 23, 2010 3:44:35 PM

I haven't looked up the models you mentioned but I'd get one that does Not require an external power supply. It's a pain to look for an outlet and carry a 110v to 12v adapter brick with the drive. Any Seagate or Western Digital product would be fine. Check Staples, Office Max, Tiger Direct, Newegg, etc. for sales.
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