Storage Guide

500GB Portable (2.5-inch) HDD Shootout

500GB Portable (2.5-inch) HDD Shootout


Affordable and Handy Portable Storage

Affordable and Handy Portable Storage

As notebooks now outsell desktop computers, more folks require a handy storage sidekick to push, pull and share data easily among their many media entertainment devices and PCs at home, as well as systems at the office. We scanned the market prices for portable storage drives and the sweet spot is fast favoring the 500GB capacity point. Typical retail prices at the point of writing hover about the S$150 price point, but it can vary greatly depending on the shop and the actual model in question.

Take note though, when we mean external portable hard drives, we typically mean 2.5-inch drive based solutions. 3.5-inch external drive solutions are more suitable for the desktop due to their bulk and the associated connectivity and features.

We gathered seven of the most popular retail-ready 500GB portable drives available in the market and put them to through a reduced set of benchmarks than our normal hard drive and solid state drive testing. Of course, performance isn't everything in this portable drive space as ease of usability, aesthetics, warranty and support, as well as other handy tools and utilities that make up the entire drive's package count as well. So without further ado, we list the drives involved in this shootout to give you a quick overview of each of them:-

  • Hitachi SimpleTough
  • Iomega eGo Portable
  • Samsung S2-500 Portable
  • Seagate FreeAgent Go
  • Toshiba Portable Drive
  • Verbatim Executive Portable
  • WD My Passport Essential 
     
500GB Portable HDDs Compared
Model Hitachi SimpleTough Iomega eGo Portable Samsung S2-500 Portable Seagate FreeAgent Go Toshiba Portable HDD Verbatim Executive Portable WD My Passport Essential
Interface Type USB 2.0
(mini-USB)
USB 2.0
(mini-USB)
USB 2.0
(mini-USB)
USB 2.0
(mini-USB)
USB 2.0
(mini-USB)
USB 2.0
(mini-USB)
USB 2.0
(micro-USB)
 USB Cable supplied? Built-in
(too short)
 Yes
(long)
Yes
(too short)
Yes
(long)
 Yes
(too short)
Yes
(long)
Yes
(too short)
 LED Activity Indicator?  Yes Yes - but bad placement and too small Yes - but bad placement. Yes - Yes - but bad placement.    Yes - but too small.
Water Resistant? Yes  - - -  - - -
 Robust?  Yes - Shockproof  Yes - Drop Guard (up to 1.3m) - -  - -  -
Security - - SecretZone feature (password protected area)
  • File+ Folder encryption (128-bit AES)
  • Password protected storage.
Password protected data encryption   -  Drive Lock
(256-bit h/w encryption + password protection)
Special Features - - - - - USB Turbo Speed -
 Software Hitachi local backup 
  • McAfee VirusScan Plus
  • Iomega Quick Protect
  • EMC Retrospect Express 
 Samsung auto backup Seagate Manager 
  • NTI BackupNow EZ (Win)
  • NTI Shadow 4 (Mac)
  • Nero BackIt Up 4 Essential
  • Verbatim Sync
 WD SmartWare
Carry Pouch? - - Yes - - Yes -
Dimensions 149 x 104 x 32mm 137mm x 89mm x 16mm 111mm x 82mm x 17.5mm 130mm x 80mm x 12.5mm 127mm x 81mm x 16.5mm 135mm x 85mm x 25mm 110mm x 83mm x 15mm
 Weight 267g 180g 170g 160g  170g 170g 200g
Warranty 3 years 3 years 3 years  5 years  3 years  2 years   3 years
 Price S$189  S$159 S$149 S$139 S$149 $165  S$145