Editors' note: The final rating of this review has been updated to reflect a discrepancy in calculation. None of the individual scores have changed.
We're not surprised to see the Maxtor Black Armor emerge in a time when so much confidential data is transported by external hard drives. The 160GB Black Armor drive ($150) is a portable storage device with built-in Advanced Encryption Standard hardware-based encryption to prevent digital theft. Unfortunately, this added security comes at a significantly higher cost per gigabyte. Unless you need an external storage device with the highest level of data protection, we recommend looking to a more wallet-friendly drive.
|Drive type||External Hard Drive|
|Connector options||USB 2.0|
|Capacity of test unit||160GB|
|Dimensions (LWH)||0.67x3.32x5.17 inches|
|OSes supported||Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, Business or Microsoft Windows XP Home, Professional, Media Center Edition|
|Software included||Maxtor Manager software|
Design and features
The Black Armor drive isn't going to win any design contests; it's just a 5.17 inch by 3.32 inch black rectangle with a few silver accents and a small reflective strip on the front. The top of the drive has a single exposed USB 2.0 port for connecting to your computer, but, sadly, there's no FireWire.