Top 10 Portable Hard Drives for the Holidays.

In the world of portable hard drives, it’s all about size–the greatest amount of storage capacity in the smallest design. And since most of these drives are 2.5-inch models, they make it easy for you to have access to your data on the go.

From stylish to rugged, these portable hard drives pack a lot of storage into a compact form.

Here are some best options:-

1.Apricorn Aegis Portable

If you’re looking for a secure hard drive, the Apricorn Aegis Portable is a serious candidate. This 2.5-inch drive has a storage capacity range of 250GB to 750GB, includes an integrated USB 2.0 or FireWire cable, and incorporates a 16-point omnidirectional shock mounting system. It comes equipped with data protection software, too, including Microsoft Sync Toy and Apricorn Smart-ER software to detect problems with the hard drive’s functionality. Available capacities: 250GB ($69), 320GB ($79), 500GB ($89), 640GB ($109), and 750GB ($149)

2.Buffalo JustStore Portable HD-PVU2

Measuring 5.0 by 3.4 inches, the slim Buffalo JustStore Portable HD-PVU2 is a preformatted plug-and-play portable hard drive that doesn’t require an external power supply. Though it uses USB 2.0, it comes with Buffalo’s TurboUSB software, which claims to increase USB transfer speeds by up to 20 percent in comparison to other USB 2.0 drives of the same size. The drive’s automatic power-down feature conserves energy when your computer is shut off. Available capacities: 250GB ($60), 320GB ($65), 500GB ($80), and 640GB ($90)

3.CMS Products ABSplus Backup and Instant Recovery Drive

Looking for a hard drive with drive-mirroring software? Consider the ABSplus Laptop Backup and Instant Recovery Drive from CMS Products. We like the ABSplus for its BounceBack Professional Software, which lets you boot from the drive if your main drive fails. Unfortunately, it’s compatible with USB 2.0 only (no USB 3.0 or FireWire). The drive has a sturdy case and comes in a wide range of capacities, from 160GB to 1TB.

Available capacities: 160GB ($135), 250GB ($140), 320GB ($145), 500GB ($169), 640GB ($179), and 1TB ($230)

4.Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile Plus

The sleek Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile Plus portable hard drive has several unique features. Its software organizes your data into a wall-like 3D display to make seeing your content easier, and provides easy photo uploads to Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa. The drive also has a 4GB USB key for auto-syncing. The LifeStudio Mobile Plus has yet made the jump to USB 3.0, so it won’t be as fast as some of the other drives we’ve seen, but it does have preloaded local and online backup software for extra protection.

Available capacities: 320GB ($100) and 500GB ($120)

5.HP SimpleSave Portable Hard Drive

The HP SimpleSave Portable Hard Drive promises easy backup with virtually no prompting from the user: Simply connecting this plug-and-play drive to your PC automatically initiates the backup process. The 2.5-inch drive runs off a USB 2.0 connection, and is self-powered.

Available capacities: 320GB ($80) and 500GB ($130)

6.Iomega eGo Portable

The Iomega eGo Portable has always been slim and stylish, but with USB 3.0 added to the mix, this drive is a serious speedster, too. It boasts a transfer rate of up to 5 gigabits per second, and features the Drop Guard Xtreme to protect it from drops at distances of 7 feet or less. Also included is the Power Grip Band, an accessory that provides further protection.

Available capacities: 500GB ($110) and 1TB ($160)

7.LaCie Minimus USB 3.0

The 6.8-inch-long, “resistant aluminum” LaCie Minimus USB 3.0 portable hard drive is ultracompact and boasts a ton of capacity: You can choose a 1TB or a 2TB version. Thanks to its USB 3.0 interface, it has a speedy transfer rate of 5 gbps. One downside of the Minimus is that it requires an external power supply, which reduces the drive’s portability despite its small size.

Available capacities: 1TB ($130) and 2TB ($195)

8.Samsung HX-MTA64DA

Samsung’s compact portable hard drive is now available with USB 3.0–as the Samsung S2 Portable HX-MTA64DA. Packaged in a convenient travel pouch, this compact 2.5-inch drive spins at 7200 rpm and comes with preloaded software for instant backup.

Available capacities: 500GB and 640GB (prices to be determined)

9.Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable Drive

The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra Portable Drive is the first 2.5-inch portable drive that can pack up to 1.5TB of storage. A newcomer to the USB 3.0 world of hard drives, it makes a great companion to other GoFlex equipment, like the GoFlex TV. Owing to the increased capacity of the drives’ four platters (375GB each instead of 333GB each), the drive is thicker than other FreeAgent drives. Though it uses USB 3.0, its 5400-rpm spin speed leaves it a bit sluggish in comparison to other USB 3.0 drives.

Available capacities: 500GB ($120), 750GB ($130), 1TB ($170), and 1.5TB ($230)

10.Toshiba Canvio Portable Hard Drive

The lightweight, postcard-size Toshiba Canvio Portable Hard Drive comes in an array of storage sizes (from 320GB to 1TB) and colors. The drive runs off of a USB 2.0 port and features Windows-based NTI BackupNow EZ software. One extremely useful feature of this drive is its ability to back up your Windows system completely, allowing you to restore the programs and data even if the OS won’t start up.

Available capacities: 320GB ($65), 500GB ($90), 640GB ($100), 750GB ($110), and 1TB ($140)

Some more options…..

11.Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go SuperSpeed USB 3.0

Verbatim joins the USB 3.0 contingent with the Verbatim Store ā€˜nā€™ Go SuperSpeed USB 3.0 drive. This drive features a 5-gbps data rate–much faster than the USB 2.0 speed spec of 480 mbps. The Store ‘n’ Go comes bundled with Nero BackItUp & Burn software and a 5GB trial version of Norton Online Backup. If your PC doesn’t have USB 3.0 ports, don’t worry: The Store ‘n’ Go is backward-compatible with USB 2.0 ports.

Available capacities: 500GB, 750GB, and 1TB (ships in November 2010, prices to be determined)

12.Wiebetech ToughTech Mini

The ultrarugged Wiebetech ToughTech Mini series supports multiple interfaces in a compact 2.5-inch design. You can hook up these drives to practically any computer: The ToughTech FS Mini has two FireWire 400 ports and one USB 2.0/eSATA combo port; the ToughTech Mini-Q has two FireWire 800 ports that are also 400-compatible, and a USB/eSATA combo port. Protected by a thick case and ToughMount Anti-Shock Protection, this drive wins the prize for ruggedness.

Available capacities: 250GB ($143) and 500GB ($164) for the ToughTech FS Mini; 250GB ($183) and 500GB ($218) for the ToughTech Mini-Q.

Which one you are opting for?

4 replies on “Top 10 Portable Hard Drives for the Holidays.”

Amazing portable hard drives. I am quite impressed from all of them as they have a great amount of storage capacity with increased data rate and the ability to survive some shocks too. Thanks for letting us know about it……

When it comes to hard drives, I would always prefer a well established brand like Seagate. Not that Iomega, Hitachi and others, are not famous with their hard drives, but I just do not have that much faith in them and their quality. The prices are definetly not the lowes, but hey, it is Seagate. They are the best.
That said, Hitachi LifeStudio is interesting with the display, also Apricorn Aegis Portable with all the features listed above, and others too.

I have bought Seagate in the past and have been happy with it. But lately have been looking into online backups instead. One valid concern that I have and have heard others express is having sensitive data with another company so look into this very carefully before taking the plunge.

Thanks for your reviews on these various portable backup drives.

Great post. I have recently had the daunting task of finding a suitable portable hard drive to back up all of my files on my computer.
These days as computers become ever more important for storing all sorts of data, including music, movies, pesonal files etc, the need to back up all of our data has become an important issue. Personally, the thought of losing all of my files due to either a computer crash, accident (or in these days of laptops,iPads and other mobile systems) theft or accidently leaving your device somewhere, would be a disaster!
I finally decided for the western digital my passport essential SE 1 TB and after a few weeks have found it to be easy to use, reasonably quick, and very compact
and sturdy feeling. The peace of mind knowing that all my important data is nicely stored away is well worth the money that i paid.

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