I’ve been mulling around for a portable hard drive, wondering which brand and model to use for my storage needs. Finally I decided to go for Transcend StoreJet 25F after briefly checking out the good points about each available models in the market.
It would have been a fairly simple to just grab any portable hard disk brand off the shelf. After all, in terms of speed, pricing and quality, they were more or less the same. However after checking around it turned out not to be so.
Each manufacturer has their own selling point. Some gave more warranty years, some will go for design like shock absorbability, colours, sleekness, and still others about the software that was bundled into it. Looking through each package carefully I had to decide what I wanted out most from the portable hard drive.
Was it slightly more speed? Sleek design? Or more shock proofing? Or perhaps more on software bundling? Or longer warranty?
Each brand has their own strong point.
Western Digital gave about 5 years warranty. Has a nice case, though slight thick, a simple Memeo software for backup (don’t believe the sync software that comes with it. It is just a trial version. However the Memeo backup software is full version and you can install it anywhere you like!). My Western Digital MyBook External Hard Disk was really great, and I’m sure the portable version would be good too.
Maxtor gave about 3 years warranty if not mistaken, has an encryption and backup software. Didn’t have much info about the software on its box. So no idea about usable it is. Looks kinda thick too for a portable hard drive.
Buffalo gave about 3 years warranty, has shock absorbability, and the mini USB cable is attached to it and can be conveniently wrap around the case so you wouldn’t lose the cable. It has a slightly faster speed though you probably won’t feel the difference much anyway. You could of course use some benchmark software to check it the speed rating if you really want to determine whether it was truly faster as claimed.
And finally there’s Transcend, which only gave 2 years warranty, has shock absorbability (the rubber casing version) and has good software bundle.
I decided to go for some good software as I would like to secure my data and heard that the JetStore Elite software management was quite good. Looking through some of Transcend models available, the JetStore 25F looked really sleek and slim. It was slightly more expensive than the shock proof version but it was really small. The size was almost the size of my Palm Tungsten T3. The shock proof model StoreJet 25M uses a rubber casing for shock absorption, I figure the rubber casing would eventually rot after some time. Rubber do not last because it gets oxidised. Oxidation would destroy the long molecular rubber chain thus weakening it. That’s why after some years, the rubber would flake, crack and eventually break into pieces. Same goes for Polyurethane too.
After paying about RM263 for it, I took it back and gave it a quick spin. It was quickly recognized by Windows Vista, and turn up as a drive. To easily recognize the portable drive and differentiate from the other normal hard disk, I added an AUTORUN.INF file to show up a different icon. Just a text file with the following codes:
Plus an icon file in an icon folder.
The StoreJet Elite software was pretty useful, and it could be used not only for backing up files, it can also be used for syncing. It can also store your Office Outlook files, your IE Favourites and Firefox bookmarks, and keep all your browsing history and cookies so that you have all the same data whichever PC you use.
The encryption is a little disappointing though it is usable. It encrypts on a file by file basis rather than barring entry to a folder. Perhaps I should use Truecrypt encryption software instead to securely encrypt and hide my files.
All in all, not too bad, though the 2 years warranty is a little short. Of course by that time, for the same price you could probably get a 1TB storage for the same price. Haha!