Ever since they first started appearing, we've been convinced of the merits of USB powered portable hard drives. From the tiny capacity earliest attempts that are put to shame by modern flash USB drives, to the latest versions that pack in hundreds of Gigabytes, we've always welcomed their combination of portability, reusability, and (relatively) high capacity. Indeed they are one of the few items we would recommend everyone has at least one of.
Even if you don't regularly transport large files around, they are incredibly useful for storing backup files, or keeping your multimedia collection on, so you can take it with you wherever you go. Also, if you have an ultra portable laptop that has a small hard drive, they're very useful for providing additional portable storage.
So, if they're all so amazing, surely you should just go out and buy the biggest one you can afford and be done with it? Well, as we all know, things are never that simple and there's always a little more to consider before you should make your final decision. That's why we take a good look over every drive we get a chance to and the one that's going under the knife today is Fujitsu's latest HandyDrive.
As we've seen recently, some drives, like the Memorex Ultra TravelDrive, pack in a whole host of extra features to make them stand out from the crowd. Conversely, others have gone the other route, opting for style over features. The particular HandyDrive I'm looking at today, though, is somewhere in between these two extremes.
Ostensibly, the drive is just another sleek and stylish but basic portable hard drive, like the Western Digital Passport. At its heart is a 2.5in notebook hard drive that you access simply by plugging it into your computer using the provided USB cable. Power and data are carried over the same cable and Windows will recognise the drive straight away and install it for you, just like any other portable hard drive. However, the HandyDrive does have one rather impressive trick up its slick and that's its sheer capacity, which at 300GB is the largest we've ever seen.
Ok, Buffalo and Western Digital have both just announced 320GB versions of their own portable hard drives but, as of writing this, they aren't available in the shops so Fujitsu still has the upper hand for now.
As I've already hinted, the latest HandyDrive is a suitably sleek looking affair with a semi-transparent glossy black top performing its usual fingerprint and dust attracting duties with aplomb. A plain painted metallic grey bottom section sets things off nicely and the whole thing simply looks the figure of understated class. However, that's not to say it's without its problems.