Roundup: Hand-Held Hard Drives With Up To 500 GB

Samsung S1 Mini 120 GB (HXSU012BA)

The second Samsung drive is based on the Spinpoint N 1.8” hard drive family. It is available at capacities of 30, 60, and 120 GB on an UltraATA design with ZIF interface, 4,200 RPM, and 8 MB cache. However, the S1 Portable is only available at 120 GB. Although some of the specifications imply slow performance, the USB 2.0 interface still is the main bottleneck, making the S1 only a bit slower than 2.5” solutions (unless you utilize the entire capacity). In this case, minimum transfer rates will come down to less than 20 MB/s, whereas the drive reaches 27.6 MB/s maximum throughput. The S1 Portable comes with the same look and feel and colors as the S2, meaning there are black, brown, red and white editions, and Samsung adds a protective pouch.

The S1 Portable weighs only 91 g, and it has a footprint marginally larger than a credit card. We found it nice to see that Samsung bundles the same software as with the S2 Portable drives: Auto Backup and SecretZone clearly offer added value. Samsung also provides two USB cables; a very short one and one that is approximately 16” (40 cm) long. Both are a bit short, but will work fine on notebooks. During our testing, a visitor to our test lab actually thought the S1 Mini was a cell phone, which shows that hardware products and consumer electronics are gradually merging, at least from a design perspective.