Cost per gigabyte
Although the eGo Portable Mac Edition didn't achieve the lowest cost per gigabyte out of the competition, it still trumped the older model Helium by an impressive 11 cents at $0.34 per gigabyte. None of the latest drives we've tested can get cheaper than the Fujitsu HandyDrive, but keep in mind that none of the other products in the comparison chart below include the additional FireWire ports the eGo Mac Edition has. Considering the vast throughput increases in the performance charts, the eGo is by far the best value out of the bunch and clinches our recommendation for both speed and cost per gigabyte.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
The numbers speak for themselves, and while we're not surprised that the eGo's FireWire 400 scores are much faster than its USB 2.0 scores, we were a little taken back at the significant jump to FireWire 800. Read up on a very informative article on FireWire connections by CNET Labs Technician Dong Ngo to get a more detailed analysis, but we recorded a 15.09 megabyte per second difference between FireWire 400 and 800 on our Mac OS testbed. Dong maintains that FireWire 800 is faster than 400, but not by as large of a margin when transferring data on a Windows XP machine. The FireWire 400 benchmark is still 24.33MB per second faster than USB 2.0 on both operating systems, so you'll see a drastic jump in transfer speed no matter what connection you use.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|FireWire 400 (write)||eSATA (read)||eSATA (write)||USB (read)||USB (write)||FireWire 800 (read)||FireWire 800 (write)||FireWire 400 (read)|
Service and support
Iomega continues to set the warranty standard for external hard drives with a generous three-year limited plan that covers standard parts and labor. These new eGo Portables are the first generation of Iomega's drives to offer the full three-year guarantee, and we applaud the company for taking our criticism into consideration. The Iomega Web site and its user-to-user support forums are excellent sources for troubleshooting, but Iomega will replace the drive in the event of a manufacturer's defect.