The first and most obvious ‘feature’ is the drive’s size that, at 22mm thick, is nearly 50 per cent fatter than, arguably, its main sleek-and-black contender the Western Digital Passport. Also, with a weight of 255 grams, it again falls short of the Passport’s relatively featherweight 184 grams. That said, the extra capacity of the drive goes some way to making up for this.
A green LED hidden below the top surface indicates power and drive activity, flashing on and off in accordance with the latter. It’s nice to see a change from the in-vogue blue lights that adorn so many devices nowadays but, as I always say, if you’re going to go with a safe design, surely a more universally appealing white light would be more sensible? I’ll leave that one for you to decide, though.
Four little rubber feet help prevent the drive from slipping and sliding around on your desk but, and this really is being picky, I couldn’t help but notice the feet were all on a bit wonky and they look like they could fall off any minute. A quick bit of vigorous rubbing revealed that they were in fact quite secure but still, wonky is bad!
Moving on from these more esoteric complaints, the HandyDrive has two rubber flaps that cover the power and data ports on the back edge of the case. They operate individually so unused ports aren’t left exposed and when closed they are secure enough not to pop open inadvertently. If your everyday bag is anything like mine, having something to help prevent dust and grime getting into your device is a welcome addition. However, there’s something else that comes with the HandyDrive that could make them rather unnecessary.
You see, one of my regular complaints about having fancy, shiny devices is that they tend to scratch all too easily and I have no doubt the top surface of the HandyDrive would suffer from this problem as well. Pleasing, so it is then, to find a leatherette carry case included with this disk. With one large pocket for the drive, a small lid with integrated cable holder (oh how I’ve longed for a case that has this), and a large flap that encloses the lot, your drive should be very well protected.
Unfortunately, a major downside to the bump in capacity is a necessary reduction in the spindle speed, which has dropped from 5,400rpm to 4,200rpm, to keep temperatures manageable. Overall transfer rate of the HandyDrive is largely limited by its USB 2.0 connection so you may not notice a difference in speed when simply transferring large files. However, if you regularly access the drive for small files or perform any task that requires multiple read and write operations at once, you may find the increased access time a bit of a nuisance.
The final weapon in the HandyDrive’s arsenal is some basic password protection software that enables you to lock the drive – making it invisible to Windows – until the password is entered. It’s simple and intuitive to use and makes for a useful addition to the overall package. However, it does come in place of the oft included backup software so it’s less a bonus than an alternative.
On the surface the 300GB Fujitsu HandyDrive has a number of problems like its bulky frame and below par performance. However, these minor issues are more than made up for by the sheer capacity, elegant design, and quite simply the fact it ships with a convenient carry case.