Wednesday, May 18, 2011

HP External USB 3.0 Drive

Non-technical review of an HP 750GB portable USB hard drive.

I now have 5 computers at home and for the past several years, I have used Acronis True Image Home to back them up, using a Keyliner-reviewed Maxtor 250GB external USB hard disk to hold the images. Last week, I ran out of space. 250GB apparently is not as big as it used to be.

The replacement drive is an HP 750GB USB2.0/3.0 external drive and it was chosen strictly on price, being on sale at Best Buy. Physically, the disk is slightly larger than a deck of cards.

750GB $80
1TB (1000 GB) $120

I decided on the smaller disk, figuring by the time I needed a Terabyte, 6T drives will be on sale for a similar price and I might as well save a little money. Of interest, this works out to $0.11 (cents) per Gigabyte. (Old-timer warning: I remember when disks were $1.00 per megabyte and that was a great price.)

Although it is a laptop drive, it can be used on both desktops and laptops and does not require a separate power cable -- making it easy to move from machine to machine. The drive includes a short 45cm (14") data cable, backup software (which I ignored because I like Acronis) and a cardboard box.

Benefits:
  • Small
  • Silent
  • USB 2.0 and 3.0 compliant
  • Short USB cable (convenient for laptops)
  • Inexpensive
  • 2yr Warranty
  • Pre-formatted NTFS
  • Literally, no setup - plug in and use

Drawbacks:
  • No drive-activity light (correction: Drive activity light on back side)
  • USB cable may be too short for some desktops
  • Shiny-black plastic case; easily scratched; fingerprints
  • Feels cheap when compared to my previous Maxtor drive
Complaints? - None.

The drive is literally plug and play. A 2-year warranty is nice; tape the receipt to the box and store in a closet in case it is needed. Being USB 3.0 capable means as I buy newer computers, the drive's performance will improve.

Of interest, USB 3.0 has yet-again, two new cable standards:



Update 2011.10
I plugged this disk into a new laptop with USB 3.0 for a disk image.  Oh my gosh, was it fast.  I think it was about 36GB in under 1 minute.


Related articles:
Acronis 2010 Step-by-Step
Disk Cleanup Steps (highly recommended before backups)
Fixing slow USB Backup Speeds in Windows 7

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