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Apricorn Aegis Mini Ultraportable HDD review: Apricorn Aegis Mini Ultraportable HDD

The Apricorn Aegis Mini is not the speediest drive, but it performs admirably for its size. Its thoughtful design and included software make it the perfect companion to your ultraportable notebook.

Dong Ngo SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews
CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
2 min read
The Apricorn Aegis Mini Ultraportable hard disk drive is a tiny hard drive fit for the road. It comes with an extension cable, a padded pouch, a quick-start guide, and a software CD. Despite the extra accessories, all you really need is the drive, as the cable is integrated into the drive and tucks right into the side of the drive--a thoughtful design touch for a portable drive. Take it out of the box, plug it in to a PC or a Mac, and start using it. It comes in USB and FireWire versions (30GB and 60GB capacities for each connection type), but not both together. The USB version we tested performed well in our Labs-based tests. At $159 for the 30GB USB version, though, it's a bit pricey. Plextor's Plextor Shock-Proof Portable Hard Drive costs $169 for an 80GB drive. However, Plextor doesn't include backup-and-recovery software, so that's what you're paying for with the Apricorn drive.


Apricorn Aegis Mini Ultraportable HDD

The Good

With its integrated connector cable, the Apricorn Aegis Mini is perfectly designed for the road. The USB version also performed well, considering the drive speed and the small cache. The included backup, recovery, and encryption software completes the package.

The Bad

The support options for the Apricorn Aegis Mini are limited.

The Bottom Line

The Apricorn Aegis Mini is not the speediest drive, but it performs admirably for its size. Its thoughtful design and included software make it the perfect companion to your ultraportable notebook.
  • Drive type: 1.8-inch portable hard disk drive>
  • Capacity: 30GB; 60GB (4,200rpm)
  • Capacity of test unit: 30GB
  • Cache: 2MB
  • Dimension: 2.7 by 0.7 by 3.4 inches (WHD); 0.3 pound
  • Notable design features: integrated USB cable; compact size
  • Connection options: USB 2.0/1.1 or FireWire 400
  • OSs supported: Windows 98 SE/Me/2000/XP or, Mac OS X 10.2.8+
  • Software included (on disc): For Windows users: EZ Gig II Backup and Disaster Recovery software, Second Copy 2000 Synchronizing software, and Cryptainer Encryption Software; for Mac users: ShirtPocket SuperDuper (for system recovery), Qdea Synchronize X, and Apricorn Encrypter
  • Any additional features: 16-point omnidirectional shock mounting system
  • Service/support: one-year warranty; toll-free phone support; e-mail support via an online form; Apricorn's Web site has user manuals and FAQs but nothing specifically for the Aegis Mini drive, though Apricorn plans to have the user manual online soon.
  • The 30GB Aegis Mini with USB didn't exactly blow us away with its write speed, averaging about 19 minutes to write our 10GB test folder of mixed file types. However, considering the device has a 1.8-inch, 4,200rpm drive and a mere 2MB of cache, this performance was quite impressive. And even better, the drive took less than 11 minutes to copy our test folder back in the read test. It also worked very quietly, generating almost no noise at all. According to Apricorn, the USB version has a maximum transfer rate of 480Mbps and the FireWire version has a maximum transfer rate of 400Mbps, so if you use the FireWire version, expect performance to be a little slower than what we saw in CNET Labs.

    Similar to the Plextor Shock-Proof Portable Hard Drive, the Aegis Mini draws power from the USB or FireWire bus, making it very portable and convenient to use. It's housed in solidly constructed, yet very lightweight casing that's smaller than a deck of cards. With the included carrying case, it's the perfect companion for your ultraportable notebook.


    Apricorn Aegis Mini Ultraportable HDD

    Score Breakdown

    Setup 9Features 8Performance 7Support 6