SimpleTech SimpleDrive 120GB Portable Hard Drive Review - SimpleDrive 120GB Portable Hard Drive Review


Round the back of the case are a mini USB socket and a 5V DC power socket. The presence of this latter socket makes sense as some USB ports may not provide enough juice to power the drive through a single cable. So, plugging an additional USB to co-axial cable into this socket ensures the drive has all the power it needs.

The drive comes preformatted for FAT32 and, being Plug ‘n’ Play, will be instantly recognised by Windows 2000 (and later) and assigned a drive letter. The drive is very quiet in operation never rising above the noise of my PCs fans. A red LED hidden in the oval detailing illuminates when the unit is powered and an adjacent blue LED flashes to indicate hard disk activity.

If required the drive can be reformatted or partitioned as you like, so Mac or Linux users can still benefit from its use. We tested the drive’s performance by copying a single large file, 3.66GB in size, from a PC to the disc. We then copied over several hundred images of various sizes – with a combined size of 716MB.

The 3.66GB file copied to the drive in two minutes 53 seconds and two minutes 25 seconds to copy back to the PC. This equates to a write speed of 21.2MB/s and a read speed of 25.4MB/s. The 716MB of images took 36 seconds to write to the drive and 33 seconds to copy back to the PC. This equates to a write speed of 19.9MB/s and a read speed of 21.7MB/s. Essentially, as always we see the USB connection being the limiting factor here when it comes to transfer speed.

The SimpleDrive ships with its own backup software called StorageSync. You can encrypt your backed up data with AES, with a choice of 128, 192, and 256-bit key sizes, which is a very welcome addition for any business users – or paranoid individuals. Unfortunately, the software doesn’t include any automatic backup scheduling, though you can set a regular reminder to tell you to backup. Once files have been backed up you can synchronise them, ensuring you’re always up to date.


SimpleTech has used the Pininfarina name to great affect by creating a portable hard drive that is so stylish and well made it can compete with the otherwise cheaper big name hard drive manufacturers. After all, you can talk about features and speed until you’re blue in the face but when it comes down to it, as long as it’s built to last, a portable hard drive is a portable hard drive so you might as well have one that looks nice.


Score in detail

  • Value 8
  • Features 7

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