Iomega eGo Mac Edition

I first had a look at the Iomega eGo (Mac Edition) early last year and since then, they’ve bumped up the storage space, refined the design and included more connectivity options. Sounds good so far, so lets see how it stacks up with the original.

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The flask-shaped design has given way to a rectangular form factor just like the Iomega Helium reviewed earlier this year. The exterior is now finished in a glossy ruby-red paint that glistens in the light. I really liked the original aluminium design but I think I prefer the better durability offered by the finish on the new model.

The unit I’m reviewing is for the Mac, so it doesn’t just have USB, but FireWire 400 and 800 ports. It’s certainly rare to find a portable drive with any sort of FireWire connection, so to find two on the eGo is great news for Mac users who want the better performance from FireWire.

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Iomega ships the eGo Mac Edition in HFS+ format, ready for 4GB+ files in OS X. But if you’re on Windows, not to worry, because like all other drives, you can re-format it to FAT32 or NTFS.

With the potential to store up to 500GB of data on this compact drive, it would be awful if you were to lose it because it got knocked off a desk. So with Drop Guard technology, your eGo can survey drops from as high as 1.3 metres by parking the heads and powering down. There’s also a 3-year warranty in the event the drive does decide to stop working.

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With USB and FireWire available, it’s always interesting to see what performance differences there are between USB and FireWire. I used the unibody MacBook Pro to benchmark the eGo against my Western Digital Studio over USB 2.0 and FireWire 800.

1.17GB single file transfer (results in seconds)
eGo USB – 37.7
Western Digital Studio USB – 37.6

eGo FW800 – 29.2 seconds
Western Digital Studio FW800 – 22.7

770.8MB 3713 file transfer (results in seconds)
eGo USB – 29.2
Western Digital Studio USB – 32.7

eGO FW800 – 20.3
Western Digital Studio FW800 – 19.9

The results above show that the eGo performs admirably against a desktop-class drive. Although the Western Digital Studio isn’t brand new, it does use a 7200RPM 3.5-inch drive whereas the eGo uses a 2.5-inch 5400RPM drive.

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In the single file transfer over USB, the eGo keeps up with the Studio showing the limitations of USB 2.0. Things widen up a bit in the FW800 tests with the Studio gaining a 6.5 second lead over the eGo.

In the second test, the results show another tie over USB, but surprisingly the FW800 tests only shows a marginal gap in performance.

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It’s great to see that Iomega has revised the connectivity options and the design to address the concerns that I highlighted in the original model. The eGo is now much more resilient to every-day scratching thanks to its new coating and you now have a choice of three ports for connecting to your computer. Iomega eGo (Mac Edition) comes in 320GB and 500GB capacities and in the lush ruby red or silver colour.

2009-10-23 Onwah Tsang

2 comments - why not add yours

  • smitty says:

    And I was beginning to think that Firewire didn’t exist on portable drives.

    Posted on 27th October 2009
  • NohOne says:

    Looks like this is a speedy little number. I have the original eGo in blue with the metal finish but this one looks like its got a glossy coating over it. Perhaps that will make it a little less of a scratch-magnet!

    Posted on 27th October 2009

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