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Summary

Our Score

8/10

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The ThinkPad SHD can have up to ten user access codes assigned to it, along with a single admin code. A user code will give you access to the data on the drive, while the admin code will let you create and delete user codes. The drive comes out of the box with the default code of 1-2-3-4-5-6, which should obviously be changed as soon as possible. Just make sure that you use something memorable, like I thought I had done, only to find that I'd thrown a random digit into the middle of my desired code. You're probably thinking that you should have to verify the code you choose to avoid this kind of thing, and you'd be right. Unfortunately, in my case it appears that I verified the wrong number correctly, if you know what I mean. Maybe I should be working for MI6!

When you plug the drive into a PC it will go into Standby mode, which means that it's powered up, but locked down. Standby mode is indicated by a solid red indicator light. Type in your passcode and, assuming the code is valid, the light will flash red a few times before turning green. Once the green light is activated, your computer will recognise the drive and you'll be able to access its contents. The state of the ThinkPad SHD is completely independent of the computer itself, therefore if you restart your computer with the drive unlocked it will remain unlocked. Once the drive loses power it will lock itself and return to Standby mode once it receives power again.

The ThinkPad USB Secure Hard Drive is designed to complement a ThinkPad notebook. It has the same tactile black finish, which means that it's less likely to slip out of your hand than a glossy finished portable drive. It also make it less prone to scratches, but even so Lenovo bundles a snug fitting fabric slip case.

Unlike most portable drives, this one doesn't sport a mini-USB port for connection. Instead the ThinkPad SHD has an integrated USB cable, that clips unobtrusively into the chassis. This means that you don't have to remember to carry a cable with you, making it all the more pocketable. If you require a longer cable to reach a particularly remote USB port, that's no problem either - there's a USB extension cable bundled with the drive. And, if you find that a single USB port doesn't provide enough juice to power the drive, you also get another USB cable that plugs into a DC input. The slip case even has a little pocket at the back to hold the extra cables, if you need to carry them with you.

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