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Hitachi SimpleTOUGH (500GB)

Two Portable 500GB Drives Benchmarked (And Dropped)
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Hitachi took over SimpleTech a while ago and integrated the brand as a new product line into the storage division. There still is the simpletech.com Web site, now subtitled “by Hitachi.” There are too many different products to mention here. Rather, our interest is with the SimpleTOUGH, Hitachi’s rugged portable.

Like A-Data’s product, this is a 500GB USB 2.0 drive with a rubber coating for extra durability. Unlike A-Data, SimpleTech decided to integrate the USB cable with the drive so you can’t forget it anywhere. The mechanism is well-designed and fully hides the connector under the drive. And it provides a special look; the drive with its connector outstretched might remind you of a stingray or a small animal with a long neck. A visitor to our office found a different analogy, but this is a family-friendly publication.

The design is very solid and it has a mesh texture that Hitachi says provides better grip. Whether or not this is the case, we like it. Hitachi doesn’t mention any specific testing procedures, but it says that the SimpleTOUGH is drop- and spill-resistant (not water-proof). We believe Hitachi’s anecdotal claims of 10-foot drop protection, and we tested the second claim with a glass of water, which we emptied over the drive. After mopping up the mess, we blow-dried the USB connector to make sure there was no residual moisture and reconnected the drive. As expected, it was still working. Still, A-Data’s drive left the more robust impression.

Hitachi’s SimpleTOUGH provides a slightly quicker access time than A-Data, and the throughput is only marginally faster. The USB 2.0 bus is simply maxed out. However, Hitachi found other ways to add value to its product. It comes with ArcSoft Total Media Backup, which we present on the following page, and it’s covered by a three-year factory warranty.

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  • 13 Hide
    tipoo , March 5, 2010 11:33 AM
    So where is the "Drops before it stops working" benchmark?
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    xbsoft , March 5, 2010 7:08 AM
    Great article! I'm definitely not trying to drop my external hard drive as I know it will most likely fail. Though it has free fall sensor, its internal parts might fracture.
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , March 5, 2010 11:13 AM
    I try to be careful. The last time I dropped a hard drive (knocked it off a table) was in the early 1990's. I did step on one about a year ago and snapped off the SATA connector (mfg. would not even SELL me a replacement controller card for it).
  • 13 Hide
    tipoo , March 5, 2010 11:33 AM
    So where is the "Drops before it stops working" benchmark?
  • 2 Hide
    superhoss , March 5, 2010 2:37 PM
    Please read the reviews on Amazon before buying this drive. If the reports are to be believed, the USB cable is faulty on the Hitachi and stops working shortly, even if treated delicately.
  • 0 Hide
    kittle , March 5, 2010 4:16 PM
    I got one of the Hitachi drives a few months ago to use as a backup when i migrated from Win7.
    The drive only lasted 3days -- long enough to copy files off my laptop and back.

    After that, nothing could talk to the drive. win7 just said "error accessing device" I returned it to Frys for a full refund.
  • 3 Hide
    wintermint , March 5, 2010 5:40 PM
    A-Data's drive reminds me of Bumblebee from Transformer :p 
  • 0 Hide
    JohnMD1022 , March 5, 2010 5:41 PM
    Re: A-Data SH93.

    What brand is the actual hard drive? Useful to know. With the number of failed Seagates I have had pass through my shop, I decline to purchase anything using a Seagate drive.
  • 2 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , March 5, 2010 5:53 PM
    Submerging the drive in water for 30 minutes dio not dmage it. I find that interesting.
  • 0 Hide
    Nakal , March 7, 2010 3:48 PM
    Where were these when I needed them! I recently dropped my external (caught the USB cable and it pulled off the lower shelf of my desk :(  ) Lost a ton of stuff since I was just about to move the data to another machine when it fell *sigh* heh.
  • 0 Hide
    evillman , March 7, 2010 5:07 PM
    Just like the 30 mins under water.
  • 0 Hide
    vaughn2k , March 8, 2010 5:35 AM
    so where was the 'drop' and test?
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , March 8, 2010 11:48 AM
    Does anyone know of an usb drive that comes bundled with backup software which : works from the bios boot menu (rather than windows) and supports differential and/or incremental backup with support for batch scripting?

    I'm looking for such a product for offline backup of a customers systems once a month - currently the only option I've found is freedos + usb drive + symantec ghost - but that's full backup every time and a slightly clumpsy way to accomplish the goal.
  • 0 Hide
    kimwally , March 10, 2010 7:46 PM
    I also avoid Seagate like the plague -it let me and many others down years ago with unreliable drives and an unwillingness to help customers, then last year I was talked in to trying a 1tb seagate sata, bricked up after about a month and after finding heaps of others on the net complaining about the same problem asked seagate about data recovery -$1200 they wanted to try and recover the data!! what made me angry was seagate knew about the problem 6 months earlier and had issued a firmare "fix" but failed to inform the suppliers, after drive is "bricked" of course the firmaware fix is unuseable. I still have the drive as the data is of more value than the physical unit -hoping that one day I'll find a cheaper way to recover the data.Thanks again Seagate.
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , March 11, 2010 5:57 AM
    if you could aquire another drive of the exact same you could just swap the controller board - should work.

    ps. the firmware update you're referring to actually bricked 500gb drives if customers would try to update these in order to avoid bricking - ironic isn't it?
  • 0 Hide
    kimwally , March 11, 2010 7:12 AM
    Thanks for that -the problem is it has to be from the same batch!! did try that using same model -after it did not work, found out that it must be an exact match. On the drive the is -S/N, model,P/N, firmware , date code, site code, then WWN
    let me tell you -this Barracuda has lost it's bite -but it still sucks!!
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , March 11, 2010 7:31 AM
    I believe you!
    Recently I made a poll on the forums as to which brand people preferred. WD won outright with some 76% of the votes - in contrast seagate only scored 3 votes - and in their favor I even included all their other current and recent brands in the listing (Seagate / Miniscribe / Maxtor / Conner / Quantum / DEC Data Storage)
  • 0 Hide
    wotan31 , March 11, 2010 3:51 PM
    Sure, you can drop it, but the real question is... can it run Crysis?
  • 0 Hide
    wotan31 , March 11, 2010 3:52 PM
    neiroatopelccI believe you!Recently I made a poll on the forums as to which brand people preferred. WD won outright with some 76% of the votes - in contrast seagate only scored 3 votes - and in their favor I even included all their other current and recent brands in the listing (Seagate / Miniscribe / Maxtor / Conner / Quantum / DEC Data Storage)

    What about Hitachi? IBM? This poll is rigged, what a scam.
  • 0 Hide
    wotan31 , March 11, 2010 3:55 PM
    I remember paying $800 for a 20 MB hard drive. 20 Megabytes. For $800. It was also $1200 for 8 MB of RAM in that PC. Those were the REAL days of personal computing. All these fancy new gigabytes and gigahertz are just a fad.
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , March 12, 2010 6:37 AM
    wotan31What about Hitachi? IBM? This poll is rigged, what a scam.


    didn't score a single fu
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