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Storage and Security On the Go: 6 External Hard Drives

WiebeTech Combo GB: Everything On Board And In The Box

Thanks to its FireWire 800 interface, the WiebeTech device demonstrates very impressively just how fast an external hard drive can be, if you need the speed. Equipped with a 5400 RPM 40 GB hard drive, our Combo GB proved beyond a doubt that even a 2.5" hard drive can provide great performance. Alternatively, the Combo GB can be powered via USB 2.0 and even connected and operated via FireWire 400.

When using FireWire 800, the Combo GB can achieve data transfer speeds of up to 63.5 MB/s - at least that's what the interface can handle. To achieve the maximum value, though, your computer must be equipped with a corresponding IEEE 1394b interface. As you won't generally find these on too many of the mainboards available today, you'll need to use a PCI expansion card. PCIe-compatible components are due out soon, too.

Highly convenient is the power supply solution: a USB cable, included. We found it interesting to note that the combined weight of all the cables - including the USB, 1394, 1394b and USB power cables - was more than that of the Combo GB itself: the storage device weighs in at half a pound (228 g) while the total weight with all the cables attached is a bit over one pound (480 g). While this is still sufficiently low that the unit is fairly suitable for mobile use, anyone who spends a lot of time on the go will only want to take the cables they really need.