Let's face it: outside of speed differences and included software, portable storage is a pretty ho-hum affair. You load your documents, photos, music, video, and other files onto the drive, and that's pretty much it. Hammer Storage looks to shake things up a bit with its morespace portable drive, which allows users to trick out the appearance of their drive by applying customizable skins.
Design and Skins
Measuring 4.8 x 3.3 x 0.6 inches and weighing just 5 ounces, the 500GB morespace portable is a very pocketable, lightweight storage unit that can slip easily into a pants pocket or notebook case. Out of the box, it sports a very basic all-black body that won't win any design awards, but by applying customizable skins, you can give it an instant shot of pizzazz.
We peeled a skin--a scenic ocean shoreline--from its backing, and carefully wrapped it around the drive, which instantly improved its look. The textured quality of the skin itself took away from the beauty of the image a bit, but it was still attractive. You can either choose one of the images on Hammer's site, or upload your own image to be printed onto a skin for $19.99. In a perplexing move, you can't purchase the drive and a skin at the same time; the skins must be ordered from Hammer's site, and you can only buy the drive at one of the company's retail partners (including CDW, Fry's, and NewEgg).
Performance and Software
Transferring a 4.97GB folder of mixed media to the morepace portable took 6 minutes and 44 seconds, which translated into a 12.5 MBps write speed, the lowest we've seen. That was about 4MBps shy of the category average and a whopping 7.4 MBps slower than the 500GBWestern Digital My Passport for Mac. Transferring the folder back to a PC took 3 minutes and 44 seconds, or 22.7 MBps. That's on a par with the 22.1 MBps pocket drive average, and just a hair above the Western Digital My Passport for Mac (22.3 MBps).
Pre-installed on the Hammer morespace is ArcSoft Total Media BackUp Software (both Mac and PC versions) that enabled us to schedule full or incremental backups (on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis) of individual folders or our entire hard disk. The software lacks encryption, so we wouldn't suggest stashing important files on the morespace without downloading security software. Hammer Storage covers the drive with a one-year warranty.
The $139 Hammer Storage morespace certainly stands out from the crowd, but its pokey write speed, lack of encryption, and skimpy warranty keep it from being a must-have backup and storage solution. Still, casual users who like the idea of personalizing their portable drive will find the morespace suitable, assuming they don't mind purchasing the drive and the skin from separate vendors.