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.
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.