This is Mobility Digest, and we cover more than just phones, we encompass most all things that are mobile related. Mobile related includes things like netbooks, laptops and their accessories as well of course. I love my netbook, or should I say netbooks as I’ve got four of them in total, but doing what I do you need more than one of most everything for testing purposes, anyway my netbook has replaced my full sized laptop, it’s much more portable and I really didn’t need all of that power for just email, word processing and web browsing. My main one is the OCZ Neutrino, a 10.1” Atom based netbook but I’m a bit limited on storage as I’ve only got a 128GB SSD drive in it so I’ve got to carry a portable hard drive sometimes to get large amounts of data to and from places. When it comes to a external hard drives though, not just any will do, you need something that is not only large capacity but can withstand a bit of abuse, I mean let’s face it we’re not always nice to our toys. I know if I’m in a hurry I’ll just toss stuff in a bag and go, that’s not always a good thing to do, especially with a hard drive. Geeks.com has sent me over the Transcend StoreJet 25 portable hard drive for review. The StoreJet 25 has a 500gb 2.5” hard drive inside of it and it meets U.S. military drop-test standards and features two-stage anti-shock technology to make sure your data is protected from shocks from dropping. It also includes a one-touch backup button along with an entire suite of backup software. I’ve put it up against my current portable hard drive, a Seagate BlackArmor, for comparison so continue on to check it out and see how it performs.
We’ll start off with the specs and info:
Transcend StoreJet 25 Mobile 500GB USB 2.0 2.5" External Hard Drive w/One Touch Backup
This Transcend StoreJet 25 Mobile is a compact and portable 2.5-inch hard drive with a 500 GB storage capacity and a high-speed USB 2.0 interface! It
features an advanced dual stage anti-shock technology and meets strict U.S. military drop-test standards to help protect your data against accidental
bumps or falls!
The StoreJet 25 Mobile not only makes external storage easier, but also more productive with its convenient One Touch Auto-Backup button! Plus, it
includes StoreJet elite software pack to help you manage your data!
-500 GB capacity
-2.5-inch SATA hard drive
-High-speed USB 2.0 interface (USB 1.1 backwards compatible)
-High transfer rate of up to 480 Mbps
-One Touch Auto-Backup button
-LED indicates power on and data access
-Advanced dual stage anti-shock technology
—Meets the U.S. military drop-test standards MIL-STD-810F with advanced two-stage anti-shock technology
-Easy Plug and Play installation
-Powered via the USB port, no external power or battery needed
-Includes StoreJet elite software pack to help you manage your data
-0.74 x 5.27 x 3.18-inches (H x W x D, approximate)
-Weight: 206 g/0.454 lbs/7.26 oz
* Transcend StoreJet 25 Mobile 500 GB USB 2.0 2.5-inch External Hard Drive
* Quick Start Guide
* USB Y-Type cable
* StoreJet elite software pack
The Transcend StoreJet 25 comes in a plastic box, with two boxes inside, one cardboard with accessories and one plastic that houses the drive itself:
Included with the drive are some advertisements, user manual and a dual USB cable. The cable features a mini-USB connection on one end that connects to the drive and two standard male USB connections on the other. The purpose of the two male USB connections is that one can provide extra power to the hard drive if need be.
If you read the specs above you’d know the drive measures 0.74 x 5.27 x 3.18-inches, which is quite a bit larger than a 2.5” drive, but the extra space is for the protection. The drive casing is dark gray, and black with an orange stripe on it. The dark gray part is actually a rubber coating that can be peeled off.
On the top is the one-touch backup button that also acts as the LED indicator that will blink blue to indicate HDD activity.
There’s nothing special about the bottom of the drive, just the name, capacity and serial number are there.
The rubber coating not only offers protection for the drive inside, but also makes it non-slip as well, but the rubber coating does attract dust.
As I mentioned in the introduction I currently use the Seagate BlackArmor for my large capacity storage needs, here’s a picture of the two of them:
The BlackArmor is a little bit smaller, and much thinner than the Transcend, but it doesn’t offer any type of shock protection, so size is the trade off, but still it’s not much larger than the BlackArmor really.
Before I get into any testing I wanted to let you know about the software that comes with it, it’s actually a very useful set of tools for more than just backups. It offers no trace browsing through IE or Firefox, Auto Logins for websites and encrypted compression of files and folders called Secret-Zip.
Plugging in the Transcend to my netbook and browsing the contents we find two folders and an executable file which is the StoreJet Elite software. The folders are named Manual and Utility, the manual folder is where you’ll find user manuals and the Utility Folder is where you’ll find the StoreJetFormatter program.
When you first load up the program you’re not only greeted with the title screen but a couple choices to enable Autorun and the One Touch Backup feature:
The one-touch backup buttons offers a quick and easy way to backup your stuff, not thinking need, just hit he button and let it go to work.
Once you’ve done that you’ll be taken to the main interface where you’ll find several items listed along the left side: E-mail, Favorites, AutoLogin, Secret-Zip Setup, DataBackup & DataSync, Settings, My StoreJet and About.
Here’s a bunch of screen shots of each section, I’m not going to go into details as they are pretty much self-explanatory:
So the StoreJet Elite software is much more than just for backups, it can be very useful for most anyone, especially if you value privacy and security.
Now on to the testing.
As I mentioned I’m comparing the StoreJet 25 to my BlackArmor.
The BlackArmor, as expected, has a Seagate drive in it, while the StoreJet 25 has a Samsung drive in it.
here’s the exact models etc:
SAMSUNG HM500JI (500.1GB, USB/SATA300, 2.5", 5400rpm, NCQ, 8MB Cache)
Seagate ST9500325AS (500.1GB, USB/SATA150, 2.5", 5400rpm, NCQ, 8MB Cache)
They’re essentially the same same drives, expect for one is a SATA300 and the other is an SATA150, but when you’re using USB it really doesn’t mater much as you’ll never hit either of those speeds.
The first test is using SiSoft Sandra 2009 SP4 Removable Storage Benchmark:
Here’s a bit about the test so you know what the pretty graph below means:
SiSoft Sandra 2009 SP4 Removable Storage Test
Benchmark removable and flash devices
Combined Device Index: is a composite figure representing an overall performance rating based on the average of the Combined Index figures over the four file sizes.(512 Bytes (representing a minimal single data cluster file), 32kB, 256kB, 2MB and 64MB) (Higher is better, i.e. better performance)
Endurance Factor: is a figure representing the Wear and Life Expectancy of flash devices; this is obtained by dividing the average performance (normal condition, i.e. sequential write) to the lowest performance (high-stress condition, i.e. same block re-write).
It measures the relative improvement of endurance caused by the wear levelling or flash management algorithm; the absolute endurance of a device (i.e. its expected life-time) is directly dependent, in addition to this Endurance Factor, on the nominal manufacturer rating of maximum erase/reprogram cycles, which is typically 100,000+ for SLC and 10,000+ for MLC devices. (Higher is better, i.e. longer life-time for the device)
As you can see from this test the StoreJet doesn’t look too good, but that’s a synthetic test and sometimes isn’t the best at showing actual performance for these drives. I use it because anyone can get Sandra for free (the lite version) and compare results.
The next test is using Diskbench. I really like this test because it tells us the actual time it takes to do something, specifically Copying a file to and from the drives, and it tells us the transfer rates.
I used my Windows7 .ISO file for the tests, it weighs in at 3.15GB in size.
In the chart below you’ll see the time it took to copy the file to and from each of the portable hard drives, lower is better of course.
The Black Armor has a faster write time but the StoreJet has a faster read or copy from time. Still though that isn’t much of a difference really, just a few seconds.
Here are the actual transfer rates in MB/s for those tests:
As we already know, the BlackArmor has a better write speed, and this graph just goes to really show that. Both drives though are fairly close in terms of real-world performance, you just need to ask yourself just how much of a hurry are you in and I don’t think anyone is in that much of a hurry that they can’t wait a few extra seconds.
So the tests tell us that the Transcend is a bit slower at write speeds, and those are usually what people really worry about. It’s a trade off really, protection versus speed, personally I’d rather have the shock protection of the StoreJet 25 and have to wait a few extra seconds for my transfer to complete.
The Transcend StoreJet 25 is much more than just something to take you files to and from one place to another. It offers protection for your data in more ways than one, it offers physical protection for the actual drive and it includes the very useful suite of software as well.
If you’re looking for something to transfer data and to protect your data then you might want to check this out. (especially if you’re accident prone!)