Computex 2007: Hands-On with Philips 1TB External HD

Computex 2007: Ed gets a first look at Philips new external 1TB hard drive.

While chatting to the Philips’ Product Line Director for Storage out here at Computex, I was lucky enough to have a play with its new 1TB external hard drive, the SPD5130. So, I thought I’d fill you in on some of the details. (TB is Terabyte, in case you weren’t sure – which is big).

Two versions of the drive will be available, one with eSATA and USB 2.0 connections, and one with just USB 2.0. The USB only version will follow soon after the eSATA version and is expected to be 399 euros. Internally, both will be using Hitachi’s 7K1000 1TB drive, which I was very impressed with when I reviewed it, so performance will be as good as it gets in this segment. The drive spins at 7,200rpm, has a 32MB memory buffer, has NCQ capability, and, internally is connected by SATA-II.

The chassis itself is made from aluminium and is quite a chunky beast – it certainly isn’t the smallest 3.5in external drive I’ve seen – but it is perfectly elegant and has a reassuring solidity to it. I wasn’t shown the device working so can’t vouch for its volume levels but I do know the Hitachi 7K1000 was as quiet as a mouse when I tested it.

Overall, I was impressed with the SPD5130. With a drive like this portability isn’t really the issue – it’s a bit like having a gaming laptop – so it really comes down to capacity, performance, volume, and style. Two of these are without doubt; the drive is both fast and capacious. Style is, of course, subjective but I’d personally give it the thumbs up. Which only leaves noise level so, if that concerns you, you may want to wait for a full review, or if it doesn’t then what are you waiting for!?

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