Like most things in the computing world, things are getting smaller, lighter, faster, and cheaper. External hard drives are no exception, and now that large amounts of storage are available for under $100, having an external backup drive is a no-brainer—just ask anyone who has ever lost data to a crashed hard drive.
One of the problems with external storage has always been speed, but now that USB 3 is becoming the standard, we’re seeing a bevy of new devices that take advantage of the upgraded bandwidth that USB 3 offers.
ADATA has sent their newest external hard drive, the HV610, for us to review.
- Device Interface: USB 3.0 (backward compatible with USB 2.0)
- HDD Interface: 2.5″ SATA II
- Available colors: black / white
- Capacity: black – 500GB / 750GB / 1TB, White – 500GB / 1TB
- Accessory: blue smart cover for cable management
- Bright cold-blue LED to show transferring status
- Dimensions: 115 x 90 x 18mm (4.5 x 3.5 x 0.71in)
- Weight: 165g (0.36 lb)
The focus seems to be on the aesthetic here, as well as the handy plastic cover that doubles as a cable carrier. I’m not sure about external hard drives as fashion statements, but ADATA is convinced that there’s a market that cares about the “Street Fashion” of your peripherals. It is a pretty sexy looking drive, and it’s awfully small for an external if that’s important to you. Very transportable.
It’s definitely not the USB 3 interface that’s getting stressed here. The max transfer rate was tested on two different PCs with USB 3, and the benchmark results were nearly identical:
As you can see in both synthetic (ATTO) and more realistic (CDM) benchmarks, the transfer rate is pretty much a steady ~100MB/s, which is more an indication of the 5400RPM SATA II HD that they put inside the shell than the USB 3 interface.
At 100MB/s you can use this drive “live”, even for things like video capture or storing your games on it. However, the best use for many will be as a backup drive. Using something like Acronis, CrashPlan, Windows Backup, or other backup software, you’re going to find that USB 3 makes your backups much faster than they used to be if you plug the drive into a USB 3 port.
The ADATA HV-610 will be available in 500gb and 1tb configurations. 500gb will run you $79.99 while the 1tb model is $20 more at $99.99. A search of every online retailer listed on ADATA’s website reveals that they are not found in the wild yet, but should be soon.
While they’re not packed in the box, a purchase of this drive will also get you two free software packages: HDDtoGO, which might be useful to some, and the much more useful OStoGO, which is a utility to make your USB drive bootable so that you can install Windows from it. The third pack-in is a 60 day trial of Norton Internet Security, but even though the press release calls that “free”, a trial is not free, and besides… it’s Norton.
If you’re looking for features that set this apart from other USB 3 external drives, the focus should be on the size and feather-light weight of this drive as well as the fact that it is bus-powered and comes with a built-in cable carrier. There’s also the compelling OStoGO software and then probably less useful HDDtoGO. These are the things that differentiate the HV-610 from its competitors. Besides, it’s a “Key Piece of Street Fashion!”