SimpleTech (Re)Drive

The Good Environmentally friendly design and packaging; unique and compact design; fast performance; useful software bundle; stays cool and quiet during operation.

The Bad No FireWire or eSATA connections; one-year warranty is quite short; Turbo USB 2.0 works only on PCs.

The Bottom Line Made from bamboo and recycled aluminum, the SimpleTech (Re)Drive is the most environmentally friendly external hard drive we've tested. It works well as a USB 2.0-only storage device and offers a unique ownership experience.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 10.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Support 7.0
8.0 Overall

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Review

SimpleTech (Re)Drive

The SimpleTech (Re)Drive will help protect your data and the planet. Housed in a casing of renewable bamboo and recycled aluminum, the external hard drive features a pleasing design--like something you might see inside the pages of Dwell. The drive's packaging also leaves little to waste: no plastic bag, no CD, no extra paper--the installation instructions are printed on the inside of the cardboard box. It lack FireWire and eSATA connections, but in CNET Labs' testing, the (Re)Drive still managed to register decent throughput performance thanks to its Turbo USB 2.0 software. You can find the (Re)Drive for about $150, which is quite reasonable for a 500GB hard drive. Thanks to its unique look, speedy throughput, and the eco-friendly materials used in both the drive itself and its packaging, we recommend the SimpleTech (Re)Drive to anyone looking for a USB-only external hard drive. In fact, we hope it encourages other vendors to follow suit in creating gadgets that deliver form and function to the end user while creating minimal impact on the environment.

Design and features
Unlike most other pieces of consumer electronics that come hermetically sealed inside plastic blister packs, the SimpleTech (Re)Drive arrives in a refreshingly simple and easy-to-open box. The drive comes with virtually nothing but the essentials: the cardboard box, the drive, a USB 2.0 cord, and a power cord. The cords are taped to one side of the box, and the installation instructions are printed on the other side. The little piece of adhesive tape and two small plastic patches that keep both ends of the drive from being scratched are the only nonbiodegradable packaging materials you'll find within the box.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $100
  • Brand SimpleTech USA
  • Capacity 500 GB
  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
  • Interface Type USB 2.0
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