The particular drive for our backup testing is not particularly critical in terms of performance and capacity. On one hand, most portable drives are based on USB 2.0 and deliver very similar performance. On the other hand, capacities are limited by the hard drives available for external (3.5”) or portable products (2.5”). However, it makes sense to go for a reputable brand and solid product to make sure your data is reasonably protected. We recently looked at a few portable drives for outdoor use and grabbed Hitachi’s Portable Rugged 2.5” drive for this project.
The Portable Rugged drive has a ruggedized exterior and an integrated USB connector cable. Capacities of 250, 320, and 500GB are available; more options will follow with the advent of the first 640GB 2.5” drives, which Hitachi hasn’t yet released.
All Portable Rugged drives are drop- and spill–resistant, and they come with a backup bundle called Hitachi Local Backup. We didn’t try this application since our focus here is on more specialized titles and the new Windows 7 backup. Note that 2GB of free online backup storage is available for all Portable Rugged customers. If you want more online space, you’ll have to purchase a larger capacity plan. Hitachi provides a three-year warranty for all Portable Rugged drives.