Review: Iomega eGo BlackBelt hard drive

Iomega offers 1TB eGo BlackBelt formatted in HFS+ for Mac systems (November 27th, 2010)

MacNN Rating:


Product Manufacturer: Iomega

Price: $200

The Good

  • Fast transfer speeds
  • FireWire 800 connections
  • Pre-formatted in HFS+
  • Three-year warranty
  • Semi-rugged protection

The Bad

  • Limited to one color and capacity

While Mac users can take advantage of a wide variety of external hard drives, Iomega continues to offer its eGo series with a special version already formatted in HFS+ for use with Mac OS X. The company's eGo BlackBelt is the latest drive carrying the Mac Edition designation, with improvements to durability and capacity.

The previous Mac Edition drives were available with a variety of capacities and color options, but the latest model is sold only in a 2.5-inch 1TB configuration featuring a gloss black housing. We do not have any complaints regarding the overall aesthetics or size of the drive. The black color should be well received by a wider audience, rather than the brighter colors of the earlier drives.

Iomega's BlackBelt drives are surrounded with a partial rubber cover, the "Drop Guard Xtreme" feature, which protects the corners and front/back sides from impact damage. The simple system is now claimed to survive drops from heights of up to seven feet, marking a slight improvement over the earlier Drop Guard bands. We also like the option of removing the band, which makes the drive more compact and easier to slide into a pocket in a computer bag.

Users can choose from dual FireWire 800 ports or a single USB 2.0 port to connect with a computer, without needing to attach a dedicated power adapter. As Apple has yet to integrate USB 3.0 components in any Mac, the eGo covers all of the fastest connection options.

In our benchmark tests, the drive maintained average read speeds around 77MB/second and write speeds around 82MB/second on a FireWire 800 connection. Dropping down to a USB 2.0 connection, the write speeds averaged approximately 28MB/second and write speeds reached closer to 36MB/second. The results were decent for a 5,400rpm HDD, while on-par with the eGo Mac Edition that we reviewed last year.

The latest eGo Mac Edition drive offers number of improvements over its predecessor, but without bringing a huge jump in price. Compared to the 500GB model, which retailed for $150, the 1TB variant doubles the capacity in a more rugged housing for another $50. The cost/Gigabyte ratio is not the best available, but the entire set of features makes the eGo BlackBelt one of the best overall values for Mac owners. Buyers looking for a better price can find the drive for $168 at retailers such as Amazon.

by Justin King


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