Hitachi SimpleTOUGH 500GB review
A tough, impact resistant hard disk at a good price, but we'd stop short of exposing it to moisture.
Review Date: 4 Feb 2010
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £70 (£82 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
As rugged external hard disks go, Hitachi's latest is quite a looker. From its curved centre section finished in carbon fibre-effect plastic to its shapely rubberised side panels, this 500GB USB 2.0 drive looks and feels luxurious.
On paper, it's pretty tough: Hitachi claims it will survive drops from up to 3m and a sprinkling of water, but we're not too sure. Although dropping it from head height onto a carpeted floor incurred nothing more than curious looks from colleagues, we were reluctant to give it a shower.
Peel back the ribbed 4.5in USB lead and you'll see why – a small power port underneath is fitted so poorly that you can see the circuit board behind it.
Performance was disappointing too. In our real-world tests, we recorded read and write speeds of large files at 28MB/sec and 31.1MB/sec respectively, and small files at 14.6MB/sec and 20.4MB/sec.
It lags behind the LG External HDD XD2 (web ID: 350968), which hit rates of 15.2MB/sec and 28.7MB/sec for small files.
In its favour, the price is good, working out at 15p per usable gigabyte, and there's simple backup software and 2GB-worth of online backup thrown in for good measure. With the extra physical protection those rubber side panels provide added to this, the Hitachi SimpleTOUGH is a pretty good deal. Just take the water resistance claims with a large pinch of salt.
Author: Jonathan Bray
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