Ease of Learning: 4 / 5
Ease of Use: 3.5 / 5
Enjoyment: 3 / 5
Design: 4 / 5
Value for Money: 3.5 / 5
Over the past few years, the portable hard drive market has been dominated by the likes of Western Digital and Seagate. But the market wasn’t left solely to the discretion of these two, with the likes of SanDisk, Transcend, Toshiba and ADATA taking a few bites from the pie. It’s the latter, however, that has reintroduced itself on the scene, actively seeking to disrupt the market with its latest offerings, both in terms of storage options and peripheral accessories. Today, I focus on the ADATA HD650 portable hard drive, which offers a good mix of durability and performance.
Build and Design
Many portable HDDs offer some level of anti-shock technology and likes, but there aren’t that many offering a complete package designed to withstand knocks and drops in real-world situations. The HD650 doesn’t just cover this requirement, it does so with a triple-layer construction. The first layer offers shock absorption from the outside, thanks to its silicone-based material, which also doubles up as a form of grip on all surfaces. The second layer is a plastic material designed to provide additional shock protection to the internal hardware. The third layer, which triplicates the shock absorption, is a cushioned mounting system that keeps the hard drive in position when dropped. In addition to all this, the actual hard drive also have its mechanical shock absorption when still plugged into a power source, which helps protect those moving parts while reading and writing. Build-wise, the HD650 ticks all the boxes in terms of ruggedness and then offers a few more for good measure.
In terms of looks, the unit isn’t going to be winning many, if any, competitions here. The company has focused more on build quality than good looks. In terms of its size, the HD650 isn’t superbly thin but isn’t half bad considering the additional layers of protection added. In terms of actual dimensions, it measures 121x81x21mm, although it does increase a bit with larger storage capacities available. It also weighs just 201g, which is also lighter than many of its competitors.
The HD650 offers USB 3.1 support, although not Type-C connectivity. This allows for fast transfer speeds, with sequential write speeds around 60MB/s, with a slight reduction on random transfer speeds to between 45 and 55MB/s. These speeds aren’t the greatest, with the likes of WD offerings transfer speeds close to the 100MB/s mark. Still, at 60MB/s, you’ll make work of copying large files within a few seconds.
In terms of software, the unit is shipped with a clean, formatted drive. Software, however, is available via ADATA’s official site [http://www.adata.com/en/download/260], which gives you access to the OStoGO and HDDtoGO applications. The OStoGO software allows you to convert a Windows installation disk to your portable, allowing you to be able to boot directly from the drive. The HDDtoGo software, on the other hand, allows you to backup your files, along with a few additional tools.
While the ADATA HD650 portable hard drive doesn’t offer the greatest performances and benchmarks in terms of read and write speeds, it offers quite a lot in the form of durability and protection. In addition to this, the company also offers users 3 years warranty, which is great news for reliability. The 1TB variants are available for just under R1,000, while the 2TB and 4TB are available for R1,500 and R2,500, respectively.