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Conclusion

Portable Storage Carried to Excess
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These three storage products are certainly different from mainstream products, but it is questionable as to whether or not the different approaches make sense.

The Buffalo device looks like a portable 1.8” hard drive with a USB interface cable wrapped around the drive. It is available in capacities of up to 100 GB, and it comes at a premium price due to its flash memory architecture. It is robust, but it does not deliver the performance you’d expect from a flash-based premium storage device, even if you install the TurboUSB drivers. The Microstation Portable Silicon Disk works well, and it is convenient, but it’s expensive, and not really superior to other portable storage solutions. Check prices before shopping—you can get a portable 320-500 GB hard drive for the same money.

Chaintech provides a flash SSD with SATA/300 and USB 2.0 interfaces, which in theory provides ideal connectivity. But the device faces the same challenges as Buffalo’s Microstation: portable hard drives provide much greater capacity at a lower cost with similar performance, making robustness and SATA performance the only real advantages. We included this drive in our most recent SSD roundup, so if you'd like to check out its SATA performance, be sure to give that story a read.

Finally, there is LaCie’s Little Big Disk Quadra, which provides excellent benchmark results and impressive build quality. The drive is fast, very power efficient and relatively light, thanks to its RAID 0 array layout and two 2.5” 500 GB hard drives. It can even be bus-powered if you use FireWire, while USB 2.0 or eSATA require using the power supply. However, there is no option to set the drive to safe RAID 1 mode, and its backup software is disappointing considering the device’s hefty $599.99 price.

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  • 0 Hide
    perry73 , March 20, 2009 10:37 AM
    nice information
  • 0 Hide
    wolfgang loss-wells , March 20, 2009 6:39 PM
    An interesting look at alot of options. Just what are people copying from computer to computer that needs these huge flash drives? I am doing just fine with my 1 gig stick thanks!

    Wolfgang Loss-Wells
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 20, 2009 6:52 PM
    It is nice to have many Virtual Machines on external storage that you can take from place to place. VMWare Fusion on my Mac at home can play the same XP VM that my VMWare workstation at work can run. Or I can take it to a friends house and run it under VMWare Player.

    It's nice to have a number of virtual machines you can take with you in a small pocket device.
  • 2 Hide
    spirch , March 20, 2009 8:20 PM
    how funny, I just bought http://www.addonics.com/products/enclosures/AE25RDESU.asp (build-in raid hardware support) and 2x 500gb seagate 5400.6 disk to make my own portable device for less thann 400$ canadian, lot cheaper than the Lacie one!

    I will receive everything next MOnday so I could do my own test and I will compare them :-)
  • 0 Hide
    spirch , March 20, 2009 9:38 PM
    spirchhow funny, I just bought http://www.addonics.com/products/e [...] 5RDESU.asp (build-in raid hardware support) and 2x 500gb seagate 5400.6 disk to make my own portable device for less thann 400$ canadian, lot cheaper than the Lacie one!I will receive everything next MOnday so I could do my own test and I will compare them :-)


    forgot to say, 400$ tax and shipping included

    (is there an edit comment somewhere?)
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , March 21, 2009 2:32 AM
    okay the article is the usual TH standard, that is to say "Phenominal". But seriously. I clicked the link cause I wanted to see more of that midget HDD in the article pic!
  • 0 Hide
    mogmios , March 21, 2009 4:05 AM
    I just port around my 1TB hdd w/ USB interface. As well as several 8GB flash drives, a couple laptops, a digital camera with a 4GB card and two spare 2GB cards, and a 16GB iPod Touch.

    I'd like to see more portable TB+ drive.
  • 0 Hide
    grifonik , March 21, 2009 1:18 PM
    spirchhow funny, I just bought http://www.addonics.com/products/e [...] 5RDESU.asp (build-in raid hardware support) and 2x 500gb seagate 5400.6 disk to make my own portable device for less thann 400$ canadian, lot cheaper than the Lacie one!I will receive everything next MOnday so I could do my own test and I will compare them :-)


    I wonder if yours will overheat like mine did? I posted a bit about the product when I had it here: http://rtmal.blogspot.com/2008/02/mobile-raid-1-25-disks.html Look towards the end for the "02/14/2009 Update".

    It took me quite a while to find an "affordable" portable raid solution that just worked like it should.
  • 0 Hide
    spirch , March 21, 2009 4:53 PM
    grifonikI wonder if yours will overheat like mine did? I posted a bit about the product when I had it here: http://rtmal.blogspot.com/2008/02/ [...] disks.html Look towards the end for the "02/14/2009 Update".It took me quite a while to find an "affordable" portable raid solution that just worked like it should.


    thanks, I will check for heat problem and if there is any, I can return it, do you remember if you had SMART information over it?
  • 0 Hide
    spirch , March 24, 2009 10:05 PM
    spirchhow funny, I just bought http://www.addonics.com/products/enclosures/AE25RDESU.asp (build-in raid hardware support) and 2x 500gb seagate 5400.6 disk to make my own portable device for less thann 400$ canadian, lot cheaper than the Lacie one!I will receive everything next MOnday so I could do my own test and I will compare them :-)


    I just got and tested the enclosure, I have big problem with my asus p5k motherboard and esata(i'm not alone and google proved it)

    in anycase, the seagate 500gb 5400.6 are quiet and run cold, maximum temperature while i was formating or while i was copying about 400gb file was about 48c

    in raid0, read speed over esata was about 90m and write speed about 85m
  • 0 Hide
    jodaso , April 8, 2009 1:35 PM
    Interesting name. I wonder if Buffalo did any research before launching this product. Microstation is one of the 2 most popular CAD applications used in the US (see http://www.bentley.com/en-US/Products/microstation+product+line/).