Plenty of companies have their own lines of portable external hard drives for carrying data on the go, but few have the polish of Iomega's eGo drives. We've already reviewed several eGos including the eGo Helium, eGo Camo, and eGo Brown Leather and they all impressed us with a healthy amount of extra features and added drop protection. We haven't heard from Iomega in awhile, so we're happy to welcome a new addition to the eGo family; in fact, we think this new 320GB eGo Portable reinvigorates the series with a sleek new design, a triple-layer software bundle, and even faster transfer speeds than previous models; we have no hesitations about giving the Iomega eGo Portable a CNET buying recommendation.
Design and features
The exterior casing of the new eGo Portable drives is thinner than before at just 0.625 inch thick by 3.5 inches wide by 5.38 inches tall. It also feels lighter than average at just 6 ounces, making it easy to take with you on the run. The drive comes in red, silver, and royal blue gloss finishes, but only the red version comes in 250GB and 500GB capacities; the silver and midnight blue versions only come in 320GB. The shape of the case is reminiscent of the eGo Helium except that this version uses a lighter aluminum casing. We certainly don't have any complaints about the design, but the looks of the drive didn't wow us like the unique style of the Transcend StoreJet 25f, which incorporates an atypical crest shape into the design. On the other hand, we can't fault Iomega for sticking to a concept that works, and we applaud the company for cutting back on size and weight from the previous model.
The other eGos we've tested all had fairly basic port arrangements, and this one is no different--a smooth aluminum shell protects the 2.5 inch hard disk that spins at 5,400 rotations per minute. The inputs are just as clean as the exterior; it only has two ports on top; a single Mini-USB input, and an auxiliary power port (power cable not included) for computers that lack a powered USB bus. The drive also comes with a two-headed USB cable for the same reason.
|Drive type||External USB Flash Hard Drive|
|Connector options||USB 2.0|
|Available capacities||250GB, 320GB, 500GB|
|Product Dimensions (LWH)||.625"x3.5"x5.38"|
|Capacity of test unit||320GB|
|OSes supported||Microsoft Windows Vista / 2000 / 2000 Professional / XP Home / XP Professional / XP Professional x64, Mac OS X 10.1 - 10.5 or higher|
|Software included||McAfee VirusScan Plus, EMC Retrospect Express Backup software, Iomega QuikProtect, and MozyHome Online Backup|
The eGo Portable might look dainty to the untrained eye, but all three models actually use Iomega's rugged Drop Guard feature that protects the drive from drops of up to 52 inches. Although it pained us to do so, we dropped the drive from several heights, and each time it worked just as well as it did out of the box. We couldn't be happier with the durability of a device like this that's meant to go everywhere with you.
In addition to physical protection, the eGo Portable also includes a suite of software titles that give it an edge on the competition, including a six month-subscription to McAfee VirusScan Plus, EMC Retrospect Express Backup HD, Iomega's QuikProtect file backup, and a lifetime 2GB per month subscription to MozyHome Online backup. The free software comes with the drive, but you get no CDs in the packaging. Instead, Iomega cleverly includes license codes for each program, which you then download from the Iomega Web site.
EMC Retrospect Express HD is a lighter version of EMC's professional backup software and retails for $50, but it can still perform all the backup functions you need to protect your data, including incremental backups and setting dated restore points. The layout of the program is intuitive and easy to use, especially since there aren't many options on the home screen. In the setup process, you can choose to backup using either simple file duplication or by compressing an entire data dump into one file. The second method is a little easier to organize, although you'll need to reinstall the software onto the new host drive to restore the files. The deal also includes a free lifetime subscription to Mozy.com, a Web site that offers online backups and storage. You only get 2GB per month with the deal, but you can upgrade to unlimited storage for $4.95 per month if you want to take full advantage of the software.