Review: Apricorn Aegis Mini Ultra Portable HDD

Elegant portable hard drive requires no power supply. (January 31st, 2007)

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Product Manufacturer: Apricorn,Inc.

Price: $189.00

The Good

  • Small. Easy to Use. Versatile. Built-in USB Cord. Ships with USB extension cord and case. Bus-powered.

The Bad

  • Sync and backup software did not work for me.

Now that the New Year is well under way, it is time for you folks that live dangerously and neglect to back up your information to start looking at solutions. Whether you think backing up is inconvenient, expensive, or technically demanding, it is less so than trying to recover gigabytes of files. One easy solution is the Apricorn 60GB Aegis Mini Ultra USB Portable Hard Disk Drive. The Aegis Mini is compatible with Apple G3s or newer, and requires a free USB port, only 32MB of RAM, and it requires no external power supply. I am happy to report that after using the Aegis Mini and giving it a strenuous two-month trial, it really comes in handy, and does wonders to simplify the chore of data backup.

Simple Convenient Storage

I carried the Aegis Mini from one class to the next, and the card deck-sized HDD enclosure proved itself worthy. The drive boasts a 16-point omni-directional shock mounting system to ensure the safety of the enclosed 1.8" Hitachi hard drive. The 60GB drive stuffed in my shirt pocket lets me free up space on my laptop and serves as a traveling repository for my entire music library. The required 4-5" USB cable is integrated into the Mini and snaps right into the side of the exterior of this small, well-designed external hard drive. There is something to be said for not having to carry around additional USB or power cables. Transferring between university-owned computers and my own is easy because the Aegis does not require drivers for use with Mac OS X, just plug it in and the hard drive icon pops up on the desktop.

On the Outside

The drive has a silver top that sports the Apricorn triangular arrow insignia, so it compliments my MacBook Pro. The top also features a blue light that glows to denote transfer activity. The underside is black, and includes a slot where the integrated cable snaps in for convenience and portability. The hard drive also ships with an USB extension cable, in case placing the drive right up to the computer using the built-in cord is inconvenient. An included small neoprene pouch protects the sleek exterior from scratches and dings.

In the inside

The 4200RPM Hitachi hard drive features USB transfers up to 480Mbps, so file transfers are fast. The drive has an average seek time of 12ms, along with a 2MB buffer size. I can move CDs, documents, and other casually used files in an instant and, between Mac OS X and Windows X, if partitioned with the FAT32 file system. The Aegis Mini USB Ultra Portable HDD also comes in 30GB for $114.00, after rebate, and 80 GB for $239.00.

Software Included

While the Aegis Mini does not require software in order to perform basic file transfers, Apricorn includes a data protection suite CD-ROM including two different backup programs and Apricorn's own encryption software. Their third-party backup offerings are Qdea Synchronize! X and Shirt Pocket SuperDuper! The capabilities of these backup utilities are separate reviews of their own, however they retail for over $100 if purchased separately. While Qdea and Shirt Pocket offer support for their software, my personal experience is that both programs are unstable and would not seamlessly backup on the FAT32 file system I wanted to use. I experienced permissions errors and frozen processes with the third-party software. However, Apricorn Encryptor functioned flawlessly for me. This does not effect the value of the product simply because there is plenty of other backup software available.

While the third-party software may add value, the $189.00 price for the Aegis Mini USB Ultra Portable HDD is a great deal and an awesome solution for your data protection worries.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Alexander Munro


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