Review: Imation Micro Hard Drive

Small, convenient, protected, and small (May 25th, 2006)

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Product Manufacturer: Imation

Price: $189 US - 4 GB

The Good

  • Small and compact. No wires or cables to trip over or lose. Provides data protection software. Great additional storage.

The Bad

  • Only 4 GB.

Could you have imagined a 4 GB hard drive that is the size of a large pad lock five years ago? Well, the Imation Micro Hard Drive is here today and it is so small it fits in the palm of your hand with room to spare. The drive works with a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer. There is no battery charger, power adaptor, or power cord, because the drive gets power from the USB port. You don't even need USB cable because one is attached.

One Unit - No Cords

The flexible USB cable looks like a padlock shackle and will connect around the handle of any type of carry bag, key chain, or belt loop. It fastens into its own protective port and locks in place with a simple slide latch. An LED light tells you if the drive is in use. I did notice that when I plugged the drive into my keyboard USB port it gave a low power warning. It worked fine when plugged into the back of my Power Mac G4 and on a non-powered USB hub.

Toshiba Inside

Imation tells me that the internal Toshiba hard disk is about the size of a quarter. It is now an esteemed entry in the Guinness Book of World Records (2005 Ed.) as the smallest hard disk drive. It is only 0.85-inch in diameter, and the tiny drive is shock resistant, reportedly up to 1000 Gs.

If you are always on the go, you might want to put a bit of Velcro on the outside top cover of your PowerBook so your Micro Hard Drive doesn't get lost in the shuffle. The drive produces a little bit of heat, but not very much. It is a 3600-RPM drive and moved 700MB of music files to my desktop in about 2 minutes. The specifications state it reads at 5MB/second and writes at 3MB/second.

Security Built In

The 4 GB drive that I tested, has 3.74 GB of available space along with Security Manager software for both Mac and Windows, plus a restore program. It isn't big enough for a system, but it makes a nice drive to pass along large files, store presentations, graphics, and back up important files. It is perfect for additional storage for older laptops with small hard drives. It's available as a 2 GB drive too.

The Security Manager Software v.2.x provides reliability and file security using password protection, 128-bit encryption, and compression. File synchronization automatically makes a back up of your data. To use the latest version of this software, you need Mac OS X 10.2 or above, but the drive also works in System OS 9.

On The Go

This neat small product provides 2 GB or 4 GB of portable hard drive space and file protection and encryption for safety. The Micro Hard Drive can easily carry any type of file to the copy shop for prints or to share files with colleagues. It is perfect for a photographer, or to use to deliver a presentation, or even a grandmother with movies of the new grand baby to share. The best part is everything fits in the palm of your hand. You might want to get a Crumpler Thirsty digit bag to keep the drive from scratching your laptop, if hanging it off your strap isn't your glass of brew.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Rick Curran


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