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Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive w/ Protection Suite review: Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive w/ Protection Suite

Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive w/ Protection Suite

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

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.


Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive w/ Protection Suite

The Good

Inexpensive; faster throughput than the competition; rugged enclosure protects drops up to 51 inches; lightweight; three-year warranty.

The Bad

Power cord not included.

The Bottom Line

The eGo Portable continues Iomega's tradition of slim, feature-rich external hard drives, this time sporting a sleek new design and an extended warranty. The bundle also includes a suite of three different software solutions that back up your data and protects your computer, and at an affordable 30 cents per gigabyte, we're happy to endorse the Iomega eGo Portable once again.

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.

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.

Cost per GB
Our 320GB model for $95 factors out to $0.30 per gigabyte, a fair price to pay for external storage. As it stands, the new Iomega eGo Portable is tied with the Transcend Storejet Mobile as the second cheapest drive in the comparison chart. Iomega almost came in first, but that title continues to belong to the Fujitsu HandyDrive at a bargain $0.27 per gig. Still, the cost difference is negligible and it's safe to say that Iomega presents an excellent deal with the new eGo price points.

Cost per gigabyte
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Cost per gig (in cents)  
Transcend StoreJet 25F
Iomega eGo Portable
Transcend StoreJet Mobile
Fujitsu HandyDrive

The eGo did pretty well in the cost-per-gigabyte comparison, but the speed benchmarks are where it really proves its worth. Using our same test methodology, we calculated the new eGo Portable to read data at a blazing fast 29.45 megabytes per second and write at 24.72 megabytes per second. We typically see an insignificant difference in speeds across the majority of external hard drives that come through our labs, but Iomega manages to break out from the pack, transferring at a full two megabytes per second faster than the HandyDrive, the former champion.

(Longer bars indicate better performance)
USB Read (MB/s)  
USB Write (MB/s)  

Service and support
Iomega continues to set the warranty standard for external hard drives with a generous three-year limited plan that covers standard parts and labor. These new eGo Portables are the first generation of Iomega's drives to offer the full three-year guarantee, and we applaud the company for taking our criticism into consideration. The Iomega Web site and its user-to-user support forums are an excellent source for troubleshooting, but Iomega will replace the drive in the event of a manufacturer's defect.


Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive w/ Protection Suite

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 9Performance 9