SimpleTech (Re)Drive review: SimpleTech (Re)Drive

Cost per gigabyte
At 30 cents per gigabyte, the $150 SimpleTech (Re)Drive delivers average value for an external drive. The Vox V1 is cheaper in this regard, but it's much bulkier and comes with a big power adapter. All things considered, we find the (Re)Drive well-balanced between features and cost per GB.

Model Capacity Est. street price Cost per GB
Vox V1 750GB $235 $0.18
SimpleTech (Re)Drive 500GB $150 $0.30
Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus 250GB $90 $0.36

Performance
The SimpleTech (Re)Drive offers very decent performance compared with other external hard drives in its class. In CNET Labs testing, in regular USB 2.0 mode, the drive registered 151.8Mbps and 153.4Mbps for write and read tests, respectively. In Turbo USB 2.0 mode, the drive failed to deliver the promised 25 percent bump, but the drive's write score did increase to 160.6Mbps, a 6 percent jump. Its read scores increased 7 percent, to 163.8Mbps.

Portable hard drive USB 2.0 read/write tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
SimpleTech (Re)Drive (Turbo mode)
163.8 
160.56 
Vox V1
164.5 
156.96 
SimpleTech (Re)Drive (Normal mode)
153.4 
151.8 
Maxtor OneTouch4Plus
147.2 
150.24 
WD My Passport Studio
153.4 
149.12 
SimpleTech Mini Signature Black Cherry
154.6 
147.4 
G-Tech G-Drive mini Triple
163 
147 

The drive also performed very smoothly, quietly, and stayed cool during the testing process.

We did notice, however, that with a PC running Windows Vista Ultimate, when the computer goes out of sleep mode, the drive would occasionally need to be unplugged and plugged back in to be recognized by the system again. The issue was rather random--it didn't happen every single time, nor did it happen with all machines we tried it with--and it might be because of the OS' power management rather than the drive itself. We talked to SimpleTech about this and they couldn't replicate that on their side. It's important to note that this sleeping issue doesn't affect the integrity of data stored on the hard drive.

Service and support
SimpleTech backs the (Re)Drive with only a one-year warranty, which is disappointing when you consider the company backs its Signature Mini drives with a three-year policy. Its toll-free technical support is available from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT. At the company's Web site, you can find FAQs as well as drivers, software updates, and manuals.

What you'll pay

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