Verbatim 500GB SureFire Portable Hard Drive Review

2.5″ hard drives have been available since 1988, but they have more recently become popular as external data storage that can fit in your pocket. These smaller drives lack the power of a desktop drive, but they make up for it with their portability. There are, of course, more stable forms of portable data storage, such as USB flash drives, but these drives lack the storage capacity of a 2.5″ hard drive. Verbatim offers its SureFire drives in 250/320/500GB capacities, and, although they are all initially formatted for Mac, PC users can easily format the drives to work with Windows PCs.

Design

The enclosure is all black, smooth and visually appealing. It comes with a matching travel case to help protect the enclosure during movement. The enclosure itself is very simple. The end cap will pop off easily with a standard screwdriver and expose two screws holding the end piece on. Once removed, the hard drive can be gently slid out of the case. The hard drive has padding on both sides, along with multiple springs to hold it in place. On the front end of the enclosure, there is an IEEE 1394b port, USB 2.0 port and power port. It is interesting to note that the unit does not require extra power to run and does not come with a power adaptor. Overall, it is a good-quality enclosure.

Speed

The Verbatim 500GB SureFire contains a Samsung (HM500JI) 5400 rpm 2.5″ hard drive. To evaluate the performance of the drive, HD Tune 2.55 was used. The maximum transfer rate over USB for a 2.5″ hard drive is around 33MB/sec. This drive achieved 31.2MB/s average throughput with 18.8ms access time.

FireWire 400 was slower than USB, with 24.6MB/s average throughput. FireWire 800 has a higher bandwidth than the drive, and measured 67.3MB/s max and 60.5 MB/s average throughput.

In comparison, a standard Western Digital 7200 rpm 500GB desktop hard drive can get an average of 68.5MB/s, making the 2.5″ laptop drive rather impressive.

Should I Buy This?

Portable storage is a competitive field. The two main things to take into account are cost and quality. 500GB pocket drives cost anywhere from $100 to $150. The cheaper pocket drives have one- to two-year warranties and lack FireWire. The Verbatim SureFire has an MSRP of $180, but it can be found at online retailers like Newegg for $140. The Verbatim has a three-year warranty and a nice aluminum case. If you get a pocket drive and use it a lot, at some point it will fail. This is where having a three-year warranty really pays off. The Verbatim drive is on the higher end of the price spectrum, but the higher-quality product and lengthier warranty makes it well worth the extra cost.

Tech Specs

OS: Windows, MacOS

Interface: USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800

Weight: 0.41 lbs

Warranty: 3-year limited warranty

Capacity: 500GB

Formatted Capacity: 465GB

Average Transfer Rate: 60.5MB/s

Access Time: 18ms

Strengths

  • Easy to use
  • Portable
  • Good quality

Weaknesses

  • None

SUMMARY

The Verbatim SureFire 500GB pocket drive is well made and a great performer.

Lance Olinger is Videomaker’s I.T. assistant.

Verbatim Americas, LLC

1200 West W.T. Harris Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28262

www.verbatim.com

$180

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