Compared to other external USB 3.0 hard drives, the Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive is large, but it's in charge: The extra bulk protects its 1TB drive during accidental drops. What's more, this drive has a bevy of useful apps and some of the faster transfer speeds among competing drives. But does all this justify its price of $124?
The most attractive-looking USB 3.0 drive we've tested, the Iomega eGo has a rubber grip that wraps around the enclosure, and the drive comes in blue, red, or silver. Rated for a 7-foot drop, the eGo can handle slight falls, although the LaCie Rikiki drive is made from aluminum and can also withstand similar abuse. At 14.4 ounces, the eGo is almost twice as heavy as other USB 3.0 drives. It's also the largest drive, measuring just over 5 inches in length.
Setup and Utilities
Iomega does not include any backup software with the eGo drive, but you can download either the Iomega QuickProtect program or Retrospect Express (or both) for free from Iomega's website; to obtain the apps, you have to type in the drive's serial number. You can also download Trend Micro Internet Security and use a one-year trial. An Iomega vClone app, which makes an exact duplicate of the data on your laptop, made a clone of 60GB in just five minutes using a Dell Vostro 3350 notebook. One plus: You can protect files using 256-bit AES hardware encryption with the Iomega Encryption Utility included on the drive.
Iomega's apps were all easy to use, but we preferred the Western Digital's because the interface was easier to use and they come pre-loaded on the drive.
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When copying a 5G folder of movies, documents, and other media to the drive, the eGO drive tied for second place at 1 minute and 26 seconds (59.5 MBps), just behind the Buffalo Technology MiniStation Stealth, which took 1:20. The Iomega drive performed equally well when transferring that same folder back to our laptop. It took the eGo 1 minute and 49 seconds, a rate of 47 MBps. While not as fast as the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex (71.1 MBps), the eGo's time was good enough for second among other 1TB drives.
Overall, the Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive is a very good choice. For those who don't require the extra protection, the faster Seagate GoFlex is $25 less expensive, has excellent utilities, and its connector is future-proofed. Still, while the size of the Iomega eGo might be an issue for those who will be carrying it around in a laptop bag, its generally fast speeds, durability, and extra free software justify the $124 price tag.