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Review ADATA Nobility NH-01 320 GB USB 3.0

Tobias Winkler, 12/02/2010

USB 3.0 storage "mirror" External USB 3.0 units in 2,5" format don’t always have to be expensive. With the Nobility NH-01, ADATA offers an attractive entry level unit in the world of mass storage add-ons. Let’s see how it performs in our test.

Introduction

Mirror finish
Mirror finish

Those who are currently looking at expanding on their mobile storage capacity, will not be able to avoid USB 3.0. Although few laptops have this technology, it will become an important feature in the very near future. The most important factor for the consumer is the substantially higher transfer rate compared to USB 2.0. Other factors which cannot be overlooked are the additional power output for external hardware, and the comparatively low cost of the interface in comparison to eSata.

The ADATA Nobility NH-01 test unit is currently available in 4 different sizes. 320 GB, 500 GB, 640 GB and 750 GB. The prices range from roughly 50,- Euro plus shipping up to 110,- Euro plus shipping. We tested the entry level model with 320 GB.

Performance and Transfer Rates

HD Tune
HD Tune
Crystal Disk Mark
Crystal Disk Mark

ADATA has put the drive in a solid, anthracite colored housing, which has a mirror finish on the top. This can actually be used as a mirror, but it is high maintenance because of it. Fingerprints and dirt stick out like a sore thumb. The manufacturer notes the weight as being 240g. We measured almost 200g for the drive and about 40g for the cable. There is just one interface at the back of the unit which is a USB 3.0 port. There aren’t any other USB 2.0 or power sockets available. We couldn’t find any problems with the power supply however. The test unit worked fine on all of our test units using USB 2.0 and 3.0 (MSI 880GMA-E45, HP Probook, Toshiba AC100, MacMini).

Our tools could not detect which type of drive was actually inside the casing. Based on the transfer rates however, we can conclude that it is a current model, which runs at 5400 rpm (as stated by the manufacturer). Using USB 2.0 interfaces the MacMini got 30,2 MB/s and the  HP Probook 28,1 MB/s. Both values are actually being restricted by the laptops themselves. Good desktops should be able to achieve 35 MB/s.

The USB 3.0 interface on the MSI motherboard allowed the ADATA to show what it is really made of. On HDTune (reading), we achieved a maximum of 89.6 MB/s and Crystal Disk Mark (sequential reading and writing) up to 91 MB/s.  This is the real limit of the hard drive that is installed, providing speeds which are 3 times faster than a comparable 2.5" with USB 2.0. The access times are around 17.2 ms. That is a pretty standard value for a regular hard drive. Only SSDs achieve significantly higher values. Please refer to our in-depth HDD Benchmark List for further information.

Ergebnisse im Vergleich
Ergebnisse im Vergleich

Verdict

The Nobility NH-01 by ADATA offers a solid, economical and fast USB 3.0 hard drive in a mobile 2.5" format. Unfortunately the housing is rather shiny which will mean that regular use will lead to regular cleaning. On the other hand, the measurements done on the internal components as well as the economical, entry level price, make this product a worthwhile purchase.

In review: ADATA Nobility 320 GB USB 3.0
In review: ADATA Nobility NH-01 2.5" hard drive 320 GB USB 3.0
The housing is very labor intensive
The housing is very labor intensive
and is not one of the lightest
and is not one of the lightest
the USB 3.0 port provides the power and the data transfer
the USB 3.0 port provides the power and the data transfer
the NH-01 was also recognized by the Android Book Toshiba AC100
the NH-01 was also recognized by the Android Book Toshiba AC100

Shortcut

What we liked:

Robust, cheap, fast and easy to use.

What we were missing:

A casing which is less labor intensive and models with faster drives.

What surprised us:

The comparatively low entry level price.

The competition:

Very flexible in their use as well upgradability are the Seagates GoFlex series, and the faster LaCies rugged with 7200 rpm. For those who can afford it, the Enyo by OCZ currently offers the best performance.

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review ADATA Nobility NH-01 320 GB USB 3.0
Author: Tobias Winkler, 2010-12- 2 (Update: 2012-05-26)