Pocket drives have come a long way. We fondly recall the not so distant days when the 16MB thumb drive was king, to the present scenario now whereby an entire operating system and other programs can be installed within. Today we look at one such versatile drive, the 1-inch hard drive based LOTIS PMO pocket drive.
The PMO 12GB pocket drive is from LOTIS, a Singaporean distributor which debuted at the Singapore IT Show 2007. The drive itself is shrouded in black with a slight touch of gray. A matte surface adds a rugged non-slip grip to the device and the USB interface is kept concealed in a swivel slot that is easily recalled with a flick of the thumb. Otherwise there is little else notable about the appearance of the drive other then a slightly protruding clear plastic label that might easily get scratched if kept in the pocket alongside objects with pointy ends, such as keys.
Plugging in the drive, it sustained roughly about 7MB/sec as rated. Checking more thoroughly, the internal drive turned out to be a Seagate ST1.3 Series hard drive. This was especially reassuring as Seagate has a long history of manufacturing dependable hard drives and the 1-inch drive in question is on the cutting edge of technology - offering all the latest shock protection technologies. The drive, identified as ST612712DE, uses the new perpendicular recording technology, with a 2MB cache. During our trial, it was whisper quiet and operated without any errors.
Copying your DVD in ISO format and bringing them about in a pocket drive has been a boon to many - the biggest advantage is saving your DVDs from the wear and tear of daily travel and use.
Recently we took a look at other pocket drives that had 8GB of capacity, and while they had enough capacity for standard single layer DVD ISOs, they will struggle with dual layer ISOs (8.5GB). Only drives that have a significant amount of capacity overhead will be able to handle that - especially if we factor in the inefficiency of the FAT32 file allocation system - and 12GB seems to be the sweet spot. In this light, the LOTIS PMO 12GB will come in handy when it comes to dual layer DVD backups.
Like the other pocket drives that we have seen, value is added to the LOTIS with third party management software within. Unsurprisingly, Ceedo has popped up again and seems to be a favorite among 1-inch drives. Once again, the Ceedo software within helps to backup and encrypt your data, and allows you to use the computer for Internet privileges almost anonymously as it removes all your footsteps when unplugged.
The LOTIS PMO 12GB pocket drive is yet another newcomer in this business of pocket drives. How it can stand out however would depend on whether it can provide customers with good support and affordable pricing. Priced at US$177 (~S$269), the LOTIS PMO 12GB pocket drive isn't exactly cheap but is within reach of most tech-savvy consumers who would gladly pay for its tiny size. Conservative consumers though would take the 'less' portable and cheaper 2.5-inch external hard drive alternative.