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Rarely do we cover a lovely juicy external hard drive. So to ramp up the coverage a little we recently reviewed the new Iomega eGo Leather, and took a brief look at the really rather attractive Iomega eGo BlackBelt, which Iomega promises can survive a sizeable fall.

It's a 500GB drive in a slick black enclosure, which contains a 2.5-inch hard disk spinning at 5400rpm, with a maximum data rate of 480Mbps. It's completely USB-powered, but required we use two USB ports (via a single cable, included) to run it properly off a new 13-inch unibody MacBook.

Its 16mm thickness made it convenient to be carried around with a laptop. The BlackBelt version builds in Iomega's 'Drop Guard Xtreme' for alleged protection against drops of up to 2.1m. Plus it's got this rubber sheath dealie -- the eponymous 'black belt', we presume -- that not only looks like a mini mankini, but offers some bonus drop protection, and provides some bounce if the poor dear has the misfortune to land on one of its corners.

The drive's quick, very quiet, and has just one little activity LED. It handled work as a Time Machine backup drive for OS X, happily backing up the 500GB Seagate disk we've previously covered.

It's a neat and simple little drive we have no reservations recommending, and all models come with a three-year warranty. Standard editions of the new eGo Portable are on sale now at £75 for the 320GB version, £100 for the 500GB, and come in a range of colours.

The BlackBelt edition, which includes the extra drop protection, is a 500GB drive, available in August for £89. Yes, that's lower than the standard disks. We're told a price drop is imminent across the range, so maybe hold off from buying for a month! Some extra photos are over the page.

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Here's the eGo without its friend, the sheath.

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It's quite a thin drive at 16mm.

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Here's the single USB port, which handles data and power. You won't need a power adaptor, but you may need to use two USB sockets via the bundled cable.

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