We recommended last year's version of the Iomega eGo Portable Mac Edition because of its impressive throughput speeds and a rugged design. Now the latest eGo BlackBelt version ups the device's capacity to 1TB for just $220 and adds an additional drop-protection measure that wraps the drive in a tough rubber enclosure. Now with physical protection from 7-foot drops and a useful backup software suite included, the Iomega eGo Portable Mac Edition is faster and cheaper than ever. If we haven't made ourselves clear enough, we firmly recommend this updated drive series.
Design and features
The eGo Portable Mac Edition is slightly larger than last year's model at 5.88 inches long by 3.75 inches wide by 0.93 inch thick, but the difference is unnoticeable unless you're carrying it around in a pocket. Instead of Iomega's classic glossy red, silver, and blue finishes, the eGo BlackBelt's exterior has a muted black glaze that gives the device a professional look. To keep it simple, Iomega offers the BlackBelt in only a 1TB capacity for $220, which keeps the drive's cost-per-gigabyte ratio lower than that of the competition.
|Drive type||External USB flash hard drive|
|Connector options||USB 2.0|
|Product dimensions (LWH)||5.88x3.75x0.93 inches|
|Capacity of test unit||1TB|
|Supported operating systems||Microsoft Windows Vista / XP Home / XP Professional / XP Professional x64 / Windows 7 (32-bit)/Mac OS X version 10.4-10.6|
|Software included||Iomega Protection Suite Mac Edition, Trend Smart Surfing (free download), Iomega QuikProtect, MozyHome Online (2GB free)|
In addition to the new color, the BlackBelt also gets extra drop protection with a feature Iomega calls the "Drop Guard Xtreme Power Grip Band." That's a fancy way to describe what's simply an additional rubber safeguard in the shape of an "X" that wraps around the perimeter of the drive.
The accessory isn't just a throwaway piece; the band defends the eGo against a 7-foot drop, which is 3 feet more protection than the previous iteration offered. If you decide that the Power Grip Band is more nuisance than convenience, you can easily take it off or even put it on other select Iomega eGo drives.
Although it pains us to do so, we dropped the drive from different heights and each time it worked just as well as it did out of the box; we couldn't be happier with the durability of a device like this that's meant to go everywhere with you.
The other eGos we've tested are all fairly basic external hard drives, and the BlackBelt Mac Edition is no different; the smooth aluminum shell protects the 2.5-inch SATA hard disk spinning at 5,400rpm. The interface is just as clean as the exterior, with a cutout on the front edge that houses the single USB 2.0 and dual FireWire 800 ports. We applaud Iomega for bumping both FireWire ports up to the faster speed and keeping its compatibility with FireWire 400.
A tiny LCD on top of the drive glows green to show the drive is transferring data, and we're happy to see that Iomega includes an extra power port if you need extra juice. However, most drives today have a powered USB bus that can easily power the drive without needing extra cables. That said, there's an AC adapter in the box if you really need it.