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Fujitsu HandyDrive review: Fujitsu HandyDrive

Fujitsu HandyDrive

Justin Yu Associate Editor / Reviews - Printers and peripherals
Justin Yu covered headphones and peripherals for CNET.
Justin Yu
4 min read

Fujitsu throws a wild card into its product line with a new addition, an external hard drive dubbed the "HandyDrive." Its design and functionality are as basic as they come; you don't get extra features like a ruggedized chassis or automatic data backups, but Fujitsu puts extra effort into performance, offering quick data transfers while maintaining an affordable 27 cents per gigabyte for our $110 400GB test model. With a focus more on utility rather than extra features, the Fujitsu HandyDrive model fits the mold for a casual user who simply needs more storage space than an internal disk can hold.


Fujitsu HandyDrive

The Good

Super cheap cost per gigabyte; competitive transfer speeds; built-in shock protection; three-year warranty.

The Bad

Boring design with no alternate color options.

The Bottom Line

The Fujitsu HandyDrive isn't very small or exceptionally well-designed, but like all the best things in life, it's fast and cheap. At 26 cents per gigabyte, the HandyDrive gives the best deal for your dollar, and we recommend it to those who are running out of space on their system hard drives.

Design and Features
The Fujitsu HandyDrive should consider itself lucky to achieve fast benchmarks because it certainly couldn't get by on looks alone. Fujitsu's bland design and unfortunate lack of color choices just can't compare with undeniably attractive HDDs on the market, like the Transcend StoreJet 25f. Strangely enough, the HandyDrive closely resembles the Seagate FreeAgent Go in size and shape with its downturned curve toward the base. The device is the average size for an external hard drive, measuring 5.6 inches long, 3.2 inches wide, and 0.87 inch deep.

Inside, the 2.5-inch hard-disk drive is encased by a shiny black plastic enclosure that protects it from impact using a "shock-endurance mechanism." Be forewarned that its skin isn't nearly as tough as the Transcend StoreJet 25 Mobile or the Iomega eGo Camo, but the outer layer of plastic certainly feels durable enough to withstand a short drop or the random bumps that occur during day-to-day transportation. At the same time, we don't recommend intentionally abusing it to test this theory.

Fujitsu offers the HandyDrive in 250GB, 320GB, 400GB, and 500GB capacities that all use a USB 2.0, bus interface to power the drive and pair it to your computer. The top of the drive also features a useful DC-in port if your laptop doesn't provide enough power to the USB bus, but no plug is included in the package. The drive does, however, come bundled with the full versions of several software programs that make it easier to organize, back up, and password-protect your data. Most notable is the Acronis True Image Personal HDD that lets you create mirrored images of your data and copy it to several computers at once. We played around with scheduled backups as well as the easy-setup tool and found the process to be simple and intuitive--we especially like the clever "Secure Zone" feature that hides images on the disk for restoring sensitive data.

Cost per GB
We're excited to see the cost per gigabyte for 2.5-inch storage drop significantly with each new drive that comes through our labs. For example, the
SimpleTech Signature Mini external drive impressed us back in 2008 with a 56-cent cost per gigabyte; at the time this review was written, the retail price for the Fujitsu HandyDrive is $85 for the 320GB model, which comes out to half the price at 26 cents.

Cost per GB
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Cost per gig  
Fujitsu HandyDrive
Transcend StoreJet Mobile
Seagate FreeAgent Go
Clickfree Portable Backup Drive
Lenovo ThinkPad USB Secure

The Fujitsu HandyDrive transferred our 10GB data back and forth almost as quickly as the Transcend StoreJet 25F. The read times are almost identical at 27.94MB/s for Fujitsu and 27.52 for Transcend and the write times differ only by about 2MB, as you can see in the chart below. You're not going to notice a drastic difference with such a small discrepancy between those two, so the final shopping decision is a question of how much you value Transcend's small stature and good looks. If you aren't willing to pay the extra 4 cents per gigabyte (see chart above), then you'll be more than happy with the basic Fujitsu HandyDrive.

Speed transfer test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read (MB/s)  
Write (MB/s)  

Service and Support
Fujitsu sets a good example for other external drives with an impressive three-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor. As a rule, we prefer that the warranty on mobile products like external hard drives last the full three years on account of their constant travel and potential for daily abuse. In addition, the Fujitsu Web site contains a comprehensive list of FAQs, and technical support is available by phone Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, and live chat via the Web is offered Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT as well. The site also details its hard-drive replacement program, where in the event of a defective unit, Fujitsu will replace the drive within two business days.