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It was only last week I took a look at the Super Talent Pico USB Flash Drive and espoused its many merits - namely the tiny size, relatively large capacity and brilliant price. For many, though, 8GB is just too restrictive - you certainly couldn't fit an HD film on that sized drive. So, practical as flash memory is, hard drives still have a fair bit of life in them yet.
In days gone by carrying a hard drive was a bit of a chore. 3.5in caddies aren't exactly the wieldiest of form factors. Thank goodness, then, that these days you can pick up a 2.5in caddy intended to accept a laptop hard drive, that's far more practical to transport around.
As with flash drives, though, portable hard drive enclosures are a bland affair and the only differentiator is what capacity drive you put in, which is hardly affected by the brand of caddy you buy. Occasionally a manufacturer decides to buck the trend and give its product a genuinely differentiating feature - and I'm not just talking about a different colour activity LED.
Take SilverStone's Treasure TS01B for example. Not only does it present a sleek design, but it also adds hardware encryption using RFID. If you aren't familiar with the technology, Radio Frequency IDentification is, in a nutshell an authentication system which uses ID ‘tags' to, in this case, verify that the drive's user is allowed to access the data.
In the case of the TS01B, this consists of two passive RFID key fobs which are used to first set up the drive in the enclosure and to allow access to the data on it thereafter. If there is one major downside to this, it's that for some reason, SilverStone has chosen to emblazon its own and an "RFID Security" logo on these tags. Given than anyone likely to steal the hard drive is likely to be quite capable of making off with your keys as well it does seem slightly counterintuitive.
That's about the only criticism that can be made of the system in action though - the real killer is getting the dratted thing to work in the first place…