Adata DashDrive Durable HD710 (750 GB)
Adata's USB 3.0-based DashDrive Durable HD710 is available in capacities of 500 GB, 750 GB, and 1 TB. You can find the external case highlighted by yellow, blue, or black, and there's no price difference between the colors. We just so happened to test a blue 750 GB model, which sells for just over $100 on Amazon. We liked that the drive's USB 3.0 cable is integrated, and thus cannot be forgotten or, worse, lost.
The DashDrive Durable HD710 is ruggedized, and Adata isn’t shy about advertising that fact. Its massive case sports diagonally-printed stripes that make us think of highway warning signs. According to its manufacturer, the HD710 conforms to the international standard IEC 529 IPX7, surviving a 30-minute immersion in 1 m (3 ft) of water. It can also survive a drop test, according to MIL-STD-810G 516.5, which is equivalent to a fall from a table to the floor.
Somewhat disappointingly for such a purportedly tough drive, its warranty runs out after a mere three years.
Robustness is what sets the Adata drive apart from the other two products in our story. It's suitable for taxing operating conditions that might render other mechanical devices unusable. Inside, Adata employs a 5400 RPM hard drive, which assures modest (but not particularly noteworthy) performance. Its sequential read and write rates of 77.8 MB/s earn the DashDrive a last-place finish amongst our three test candidates. Then again, that's not too far down the ladder. Western Digital's My Passport achieves a slightly higher result that hovers around 83 MB/s.
In contrast to its competitors, Adata's DashDrive Durable HD710 does not come with software. Its bundle is limited to a quick-start guide and the USB 3.0 cable built right into the external enclosure. Two tools, OStoGo and UFDtoGo, can be downloaded from the Adata website. But they're relatively mundane offerings: OStoGo copies the files off of a Windows 7 DVD on the external drive, and then modifies them in such a way that you can install Windows from the HD710. UFDtoGo synchronizes personal data (like email and browser favorites) between a PC and Adata's product.