Several of this month’s drives have identical specs on paper, but our tests showed the Maxtor, Seagate and Buffalo drives to be better performers than the rest of the portable crop. And of these top performers, our favourite was the Maxtor.
Its first strength is apparent as soon as you look at it. If you’re in the market for a miniature hard disk, it’s a fair bet you’re interested in portability – and this is an area where the tiny, lightweight Maxtor excels. It really is a drive you can carry in your pocket.
It’s not the world’s most versatile design, though. Its sloping sides mean you can’t save space by balancing it on edge. And rather than having its interfaces at the back like most drives, it has a single mini-USB port set towards the front on the left-hand side. There are no other sockets, although you can use the provided mini-to-dual USB cable to make sure the drive gets enough power if that’s an issue with your computer.
At the front, there’s a slightly violet-tinged white light that indicates both power and disk activity. And, as if that weren’t enough, it also serves as a button that you can press to run an automatic backup or synchronise files between your main hard disk and the Maxtor unit. In fact, you can set it to launch any program you want, though you need to have the Maxtor Manager running in your system tray.
When it comes to value for money, the Maxtor is inevitably overshadowed by the Seagate in terms of cents per gigabyte. But that calculation masks the fact that the Seagate costs only $11 more. If 160GB is enough for you then the Maxtor represents a material saving. Note, however, that this is the largest model in the OneTouch 4 Mini range, so if you want something more capacious you’ll have to look elsewhere.
This limited storage capacity might put some people off, and we’re still a little uncertain about the positioning of the USB socket. But these are about the worst complaints that can be levelled at this impressively capable and hugely portable drive.
This Review appeared in the May, 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © Alphr, Dennis Publishing