|Model||Capacity||Est. street price||Cost per GB|
|SimpleTech Signature Mini Black Cherry||320GB||$180.00||$0.56|
|Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini||160GB||$90.00||$0.56|
|Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive||160GB||$100.00||$0.63|
|OWC Mercury On-The-Go||500GB||$350.00||$0.70|
|Toshiba USB 2.0 Portable External HDD||160GB||$140.00||$0.88|
The Signature Mini Black Cherry did very well in the labs. It topped the charts among pocket-size, external hard drives on our USB 2.0 write test, scoring 147.4Mbps (as opposed to 138.5Mbps of the OWC Mercury On-the-Go). On our read test, it finished in the middle of the pack--we typically don't see much variance in read performance among USB drives. Do note that a drive with FireWire support, such as the OWC Mercury On-the-Go, will offer faster throughput using that interface than USB 2.0.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
During the testing process, the Signature Mini Black Cherry worked smoothly and quietly. It also managed to stay relatively cool all the time, which is a pleasant surprise as the drive doesn't seem to have any ventilation.
Service and support
SimpleTech backs the Signature Mini Black Cherry (as well as other models in the Signature Mini series) with a generous three-year warranty. 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.