Smart and Simple: Portable 2.5" Hard Drives from Fujitsu and Valueplus

Summary: Fast And Flexible

Although test results showed that the performance of the three 2.5" mobiles cannot keep pace with the 250 GB flagships like Western Digital's Combo Drive, none of the three models lags as far behind as the usual performance difference between 3.5" and 2.5" hard drives would lead one to expect. In practice, this means that it is only when copying really huge data sets of 50 GB and more that the user really saves time by using fast 3.5" drives.

In most cases, the interface - regardless of whether it is USB 2.0 or FireWire - could be the real bottleneck. The move up to FireWire 800 (IEEE1394b) here could bring the best results, and that's why changing the hard drive might only be of limited help. This is handled most easily with the SPIO; it offers a quick-release button so that a switch can be made in just a few minutes.

Fujitsu decided to separate FireWire and USB 2.0 - a step that undoubtedly saves costs. However, for the user this is a disadvantage. We would like to see a version with both interfaces to cover all eventualities.

There is hardly any difference in performance between the two Fujitsu drives; the test results of the Data Edition with USB 2.0 are minimally better, although subjectively, the Video Edition with FireWire makes a better impression. In the benchmarks, the SPIO is in the lead, despite the fact that an older hard drive model is being used here (Fujitsu MHS2040AT). The advantages of the SPIO are clearly its ultra-compact dimensions and the ease of opening the case.

You had better have long-term vision if you rely on the use of such a drive, because not all USB or FireWire controllers are able to provide the hard drives with adequate power. If the HandyDrive or the SPIO is to be operated with different and, above all, older computers, we advise getting a suitable power supply just to be on the safe side.