With its latest iteration of its eGo USB 3.0 portable hard drive, Iomega seeks to create the perfect drive - stylish, rugged, and fast. But, facing a slew of USB 3.0 drives from its competitors, does the expensive $199 eGo have what it takes to stand apart from the competition? Read on to find out.
Measuring 4.8 x 3.4 x 0.7 inches and weighing 6.4 ounces, the Iomega eGo is similar in weight to the Seagate GoFlex Turbo (4.4 x 3.3 x 0.5 inches, 6.4 ounces), although the Turbo is almost a quarter of an inch slimmer. The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme (5.1 x 3.5 x 0.7 inches, 8.2 ounces) and the LaCie Rugged Mini (5.5 x 3.5 x 1 inches, 10.6 ounces) are both larger and heavier than the sleek eGo.
Featuring a design aesthetic similar to the GoFlex Turbo, the eGo sports glossy black plastic on the top and bottom of the drive and silver plastic on the sides. A USB 3.0 port sits on the top edge of the drive.
The eGo also ships with a rubberized sleeve, designed to protect the drive from damage if it is accidentally dropped. Like the MiniStation Extreme, the eGo is shock-resistant up to 2 meters with its rubberized sleeve on; however, it lacks the other damage-resistant features of drives such as the Rugged Mini, which can withstand up to 1 ton of pressure and is rain-resistant.
Setup and Utilities
Users can plug the eGo in and start using it immediately. Copying files is a simple matter of dragging them from our computer to the drive.
Upon being plugged into the notebook, the eGo creates a virtual-CD partition, from which users can install the Iomega dashboard. From the dashboard, the user can set a password for the drive or remove the setup files for the virtual-CD partition and dashboard (freeing up space on the drive but restricting access to the dashboard to the current computer).
Unlike its competitors, the eGo is not preloaded with any backup software or other utilities. Instead, owners may go to Iomega's website and download the Iomega Protection Suite for free, which includes Iomega QuikProtect. Compared to the backup utilities offered by some of Iomega's competitors, QuikProtect is excellent, allowing users to specify exactly which folders they wish to back up, establish a backup schedule, and choose how many revisions of files to save.
The Iomega Protection Suite also comes with v.Clone, a utility that creates a virtual image of the user's PC on the hard drive - a copy of the operating system, applications, settings and files - and then allows the user to run this virtual image on a secondary machine, just as if he or she were using the original computer. Furthermore, when the drive has been reconnected to the primary computer, v.Clone automatically syncs the data on the drive with the PC. This powerful piece of software requires that the secondary computer must have at least 1GB of RAM, though.
It took 1 minute and 58 seconds to write 5GB of mixed multimedia files to the Iomega eGo, a rate of 43.4 MBps. This falls just short of the category average of 44.9 MBps but still beats the Seagate GoFlex Turbo (36.3 MBps) and LaCie Rugged Mini (38.8 MBps). The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme leads in this category with a write speed of 74.2 MBps.
Reading from the eGo drive was faster, at 1 minute 10 seconds, or 73.1 MBps. This exceeds the category average by 21.8 MBps and handily beats the GoFlex Turbo (50.7 MBps) and Rugged Mini (58.9 MBps). Once again, however, the MiniStation Extreme leads the pack with an 86.8 MBps read speed.
The eGo performed much more quickly when writing and reading a single 3GB file. Writing the file to the drive took 31 seconds, a rate of 99.1 MBps, which ties with the MiniStation Extreme. The eGo read the same file from the drive in just 25 seconds, an astoundingly fast rate of 122.9 MBps. This easily puts the eGo ahead of its competitors, beating the GoFlex Turbo (93.1 MBps), Rugged Mini (85.3 MBps) and the MiniStation Extreme (87.8 MBps).
In addition to our black 1TB review model, Iomega offers 500GB models in red, black and silver, as well as a 7200-rpm 500GB model in silver.
The $199 Iomega eGo delivers top-of-the-line performance and truly powerful utilities, but for such a high price, buyers should expect the best speeds in its class and the eGo must cede those honors to the MiniStation Extreme, which boasts the fastest read/write times in almost every category. Consumers who want fast speeds and robust utilities will be pleased with the eGo, but for those looking for the fastest drive at the lowest price, the MiniStation Extreme is clearly the top contender.