Iomega eGo Triple-Interface 500GB Drive Drops a Gig In 15 Seconds Flat

Sure it's shiny, ruby red and super lightweight, holds 500GB and connects—with power—via USB 2.0, FireWire 400 or FireWire 800. But the best thing about the newest Iomega eGo is that it can move files faster than (almost) anything I've seen.

The only downside I can see some of you noting is that the bus-powered 2.5" drive is 5400rpm, so not as ideal as a 7200rpm drive for serious amounts of randomly accessed video content, but it's amazing when you're moving files around.

I tested it against other drives using a 1.04GB file (an MPEG-4 rip of my Burn After Reading DVD). When I copied that file to a nice SanDisk Extreme III SDHC card, via an ExpressCard SanDisk SDHC reader, it took 1 minute 48 seconds. When I moved it to an old USB 2.0 IDE drive, the same file took 38 seconds. On a PC, I moved that file to a newer USB 2.0 drive, and it took longer, 52 seconds. When I moved that file from the Mac to the eGo via FireWire 800, it took just 15 seconds.

As you might have guessed, it took about twice as long via USB 2.0, and since Apple has pretty much given up on the FireWire 400 format, I didn't test that, but it would have probably been even slower still. I have to say, there was one drive that was even faster: A 7200rpm 3.5" 2TB Seagate Free Agent XTreme that you have to plug into the wall, connected to an HP notebook via eSATA. At first, it took 23 seconds to move that file from PC to drive. But I reformatted the drive so that it didn't have its own software in the way, and boom, the thing scooted from PC to drive in 11 seconds.

But I digress. The point is, for people who have a FireWire 800 jack, but might need to connect elsewhere using USB 2.0, grabbing this totally bus-powered drive is smart. I plan to offload all of my movies to it, and just plug them in when I am on the road, or at home and in possession of Apple Remote and Mini-DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter.

It's super light (198 grams) and has "Drop Guard" protection for falls of up to 1.3 metres. My only gripe is the ridiculously shiny blue LED that indicates when the drive is being read or written to. It's so bright, I decided to tape over it, so that the neighbours wouldn't think I was busy laser-welding my homemade Iron Man suit (again).

The 500GB version is $US150, and comes in the red you see. There's a 320GB that comes in blue for $US110, and a white one that holds 250GB for just under $US100. (It doesn't take a lot of math skills to see why the red is the best bet.) [Iomega]