Lenovo ThinkPad USB Secure Hard Drive review: Lenovo ThinkPad USB Secure Hard Drive

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.9
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 9.0
  • Service and support: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Easy-to-use security keypad; integrated USB cord; includes extra power plug; quick transfer speeds.

The Bad Boring design; no FireWire support; expensive cost per gigabyte.

The Bottom Line We're impressed by the Lenovo ThinkPad USB Secure Hard Drive's burly security features and rigorous performance results, but the bloated price tag prevents us from recommending it to anyone other than business consumers. If you're shopping for an external hard drive, competing drives give you a cheaper cost per gigabyte in a fancier package.

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Editors' note: The final rating of this review has been updated to reflect a discrepancy in calculation. None of the individual scores have changed.

The 320GB Lenovo ThinkPad USB Secure Hard Drive's is an external hard drive that takes a tactile approach to security; users must input a passcode on the built-in keypad before the drive will let them access its contents. We like that the drive has an integrated USB 2.0 cable, but the rest of the case is an eyesore, especially compared with other stylishly thin external drives. The upside is that Lenovo ThinkPad USB Secure registered chart-topping performance results, but the increased transfer speeds come at a price. The $219 retail price is worth it for people who value security and performance over flashy design, but the budget-minded consumer can pay less and get a thinner, attractive drive with more storage space.

Design and features
The Lenovo ThinkPad USB Secure Hard Drive isn't one of the prettiest drives to enter CNET Labs. The chassis is covered with the same soft rubber that's become an IBM/Lenovo staple and four nonskid antivibration pads are stuck to the bottom of the drive to prevent it from slipping around your work space. The drive also houses an integrated USB 2.0 cord that tucks neatly into a cutout on the right side. The cord is only a couple of inches long, but Lenovo also includes an extension cord if you need more slack. The drive is entirely powered by the USB bus, but Lenovo covers its bases and includes a supplemental power port and plug to provide additional power as needed. Unfortunately, the drive does not support a FireWire connection

Drive type External USB Flash Hard Drive
Connector options USB 2.0
Available capacities 160GB, 320GB
Product Dimensions (LWH) 4.8x3.45x0.85 inches
Capacity of test unit 320GB
OSes supported Windows XP/Vista and Mac OS X
Software included None

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Where to Buy See all prices

Lenovo ThinkPad USB Secure Hard Drive (320GB)

Part Number: 43R2019 Released: Nov. 26, 2008
MSRP: $159.99 Low Price: $173.36 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Nov. 26, 2008
  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
  • Interface Type Hi-Speed USB
  • Capacity 320 GB
  • Spindle Speed 5400 rpm