Sony HD-EG5

Sony HD-EG5

External hard drive

We’ve seen a few USB 3.0 gadgets, but the 500GB Sony HD-EG5 is the first truly pocket-sized USB 3.0 external hard drive we’ve tested. Perfect for laptop users, it will suit those buying a new Ultrabook or with a recent USB 3.0-enabled model.

In design, it’s compact and covered in brushed aluminium, only a little larger than the average smartphone and a similar shape. Ours was black, but there’s a selection of colours available. The only feature is a blue light to indicate drive activity, apart from the USB 3.0 connector. The 56cm cable is used to both power the drive and for data transfer. We’d like a little more information – such as an indicator of available space – but it’s attractive and very portable.

We tested the drive with HD Tach, as well as by performing standard data transfers, with a current model USB 3.0-enabled laptop. With HD Tach, the drive recorded random access times of around 16.8ms, which is mid-range speed overall, but fast for a 2.5-inch drive. The average read speed was 86MBytes/sec, with maximum burst speed while reading from the drive was 238MByte/sec, both of which rate well for this size drive but don’t match 3.5-inch external drive speeds.

When transferring movie files, we achieved read speeds over 100Mbyte/sec, with speeds consistently over 60MByte/sec . Even for 3000 small files totalling 100MB, we managed a decent 20MByte/sec read speed.

Write speed was slower, averaging 5MByte/sec for small files and 16MByte/sec for large media files.

In terms of overall performance this is a great little pocket drive, and its slimline design is appealing. It comes with backup software, and encryption, and it’ll make a great accessory for a new laptop.

The HD-EG5 has an RRP of $170, including GST and is distributed by Dove Electronics.

This review first appeared in the February issue of New Zealand PC World.

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