Silicon Power Armor A80 review: Double A(lpha) male

CNET editor Dong Ngo finds a portable hard drive that impresses even him, though the Silicon Power Armor A80 has one quirk.

The A80 portable drive uses A-male-to-A-male USB 3.0 to connect to a computer and comes with 2 cables of this type.
The A80 portable drive uses A-male-to-A-male USB 3.0 to connect to a computer and comes with 2 cables of this type. Dong Ngo/CNET

Unlike most external drives I've seen, the Silicon Power Armor A80 portable hard drive uses A-male-to-A-male USB 3.0 cable.

This means the drive will not work with the more popular type of USB cable, which has an A male port on one end and a (Micro) B male port on the other. More than making up for this, the new drive offers alpha male performance all the way.

Of the two provided cables, the first is about 3 feet long and the second is a short 4-incher that fits right into a groove on the drive's right side. This cable-carry design makes the drive really convenient to use on the go since you don't have to worry about the whereabouts of the cable.

And that's not the coolest thing about the design of the drive. Its chassis is made of aluminum, rubber, and plastic designed to resist water for up to 30 minutes when submerged down to a depth of 3 feet. It can also survive drops from about 4 feet. While not disaster-proof, the drive is tough enough to deal with most mishaps that would happen while traveling.

And, as mentioned above, the A80 also excels where it's most important: performance. In my testing it proved to be one of the fastest USB 3.0 portable drives on the market. At a street price of around $135 for the 1TB capacity, the new and compact portable drive makes a great companion for those who travel a lot or for any office.

For more information, check out the full review of the Silicon Power Armor A80 portable drive.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.


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