Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive

As computers continue to become ever more portable, it stands to reason that external hard drives will follow suit. Reliability, versatility and durability are all important in a portable hard drive, and Iomegais eGo offers all three along with good looks, too.

The eGo sports a flask-shaped metal shell thatis available in several colors, 160GB or 250GB capacities, and with either a USB 2.0 or USB 2.0/FireWire 400 combo interface. It includes Iomegais DropGuard technology to help protect the drive if it gets dropped or bumped, and weighs just under a half pound. I tested the combo interface model (product number 34155).

The eGo (left) with a 3G iPod nano (right).

The drive ships with FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 cables, which is a nice touch that I wish printer manufacturers would pick up on. Including the necessary cables means you donit feel nickel-and-dimed, and wonit have to go back to the store to pick up another cable. As a bonus, the eGo comes with an extra USB cable with dual connectors: One for data, and a second for extra power. Thatis especially handy if your USB hub isnit pumping out enough juice to power the drive.

It also comes with a copy of EMCis Retrospect Express so you can set up an automated backup schedule.

The drive performs exactly as I like: Quiet and quick. It didnit vibrate at all even when sitting directly on the glass top of my desk, and hard drive chatter when reading or writing data was unnoticeable.

The eGo includes FireWire and USB ports on its back.

Read and write speeds over FireWire fell in line with my expectations. Drive Genius II from Prosoft Engineering showed a maximum throughput of 27.35MB/s and a minimum of 4.426MB/s on its Random Read test, and 24.615MB/s and 9.786MB/s on its Random Write test.

Data Random Read Random Write Sustained Read Sustained Write
32K 4.426 9.786 22.222 21.918
64K 7.459 13.559 23.704 24.242
128K 11.552 17.021 25.6 23.704
256K 15.61 19.632 25.397 24.242
.5M 20.915 23.881 25.397 24.427
1M 23.704 24.806 25.197 24.615
2M 26.446 24.615 24.806 24.806
4M 26.667 24.615 25 24.615
8M 26.446 24.615 26.016 24.615
16M 27.35 24.615 24.615 24.615
FireWire data transfer speeds in MB/s

The eGo is also AirDisk and Time Machine-compatible, making it a nice compact add-on for an AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule. I found that the USB port on every Base Station I connected the eGo to offered enough power so that the dual-head USB wasnit necessary.

The eGo was quiet, even on a glass desk top.

With all of those great features, what about the eGo could possibly disappoint me? The drive is just a little too big to comfortably fit in a pocket. A small complaint considering most people are more likely to toss the drive into a computer bag.

The Bottom Line
Iomegais eGo is a durable and good looking portable drive that performs well enough for on the go and most desktop needs. Thanks to its AirPort compatibility, it also works great as a wireless networked drive if your Base Station space is a bit cramped. If the case was just a tiny bit smaller, it would fit perfectly in most pockets... Or maybe I just need to get bigger pants.

Product: folder_id=58621831&ASSORTMENT;<>ast_id=63191&bmUID=1207440878989" target="_blank">eGo Portable Hard Drive FireWire 400/USB 2.0

Company: Iomega

List Price: $132.95

Vendor Price: $129.99


Pros: Portable, durable, nice looks, includes backup software.
Cons: A little big for some pockets.