Conclusion: A Good Product That Should Mostly Satisfy Its Audience's Expectations
As my measurements show, the 100 GB version of Maxtor's OneTouch III Mini can hold its own against the competition, with an average seek time of just under 17 ms. The drive can read at a speed of a little over 26 MB/s and write at just under 25 MB/s. These are both quite solid results, and very close to those of a Seagate Momentus 5400.2 100 GB (UATA). This is hardly surprising, considering that my review sample used this very drive, as a look inside the case revealed.
However, for this kind of product, ease of use and the software bundle that ships with the drive are much more important than performance alone. Granted, not all of the features turned out to be completely viable in a day-to-day business environment. Nonetheless, this device is an easy recommendation for buyers looking for an external drive built around the USB 2.0 interface that can back up private and sensitive data at the touch of a button.
Additionally, the Maxtor drive is comparatively shock resistant and well protected against damage, and thus data loss, thanks to sponge rubber inserts.
All in all, the slightly higher cost of the OneTouch III Mini Edition compared to other external 2.5" USB drives does indeed seem justified. Still, the company could increase the added value of the software bundle by expanding its functionality to include full-system backups. Also, I would suggest simplifying the encryption feature and allowing entire directories to be encrypted with a single pass phrase.