Verbatim's Portable Hard Drive can't compete on price, speed or design skills

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Verbatim's Portable Hard Drive can't compete on price, speed or design skills

Verbatim doesn't claim that its portable hard drive is designed to withstand trampling by elephants - that's more a job for the Freecom ToughDrive - but we were surprised at just how flimsy it feels.

Squeeze the plastic casing and it bends and creaks alarmingly. Of this month's portable drives, this is the one we'd be most anxious about throwing in a rucksack.

It isn't beautiful, either: our brushed-silver review model looks dated, although the coloured models have more character. The twin blue power lights, gleaming out at both sides of the drive at once, are over the top.

The drive arrives formatted as FAT32. This means it will work happily on either a PC or a Mac, but, as expected, it caused the Verbatim to do very poorly in our performance tests.

Out of the box, it took 73 seconds to write our 3000 files and 24 seconds to read them back. Reformatting as NTFS cut these times to a more competitive 24 and 13 seconds respectively, but even these results were below average.

Oddly, when we copied our single 3GB file to the drive, the operation completed in 1min 45secs, which is quicker than any other portable drive, and on a par with the fastest desktops.

Yet when we read the same file back, its result of 1min 39secs was over six seconds slower than some of its portable rivals.

With so many manufacturers throwing in own-brand backup software, it's pleasing to see that Verbatim has splashed out on a third-party package, even if it's only Nero's BackItUp 4 Essentials.

But you don't get any other goodies, nor any accessories, which makes even the palatable $162 price tag harder to swallow.

Verbatim Portable Hard Drive
3 6
Verdict
Not this month’s cheapest, fastest or prettiest drive
Performance
Features & Design
Value for money
Overall
Specs
$162
• Verbatim Australia: www.skycomp.com.au
This review appeared in the November, 2009 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
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