Review Verbatim Pocket HD 1.8" 250 GB
Underestimated Expert. Small, mobile mass storage devices with convenient capacity lead a niche existence and disappear from the shelves by and by. We fetched one of the last representative of external 1.8" hard drives and scrutinized it.
1.8" hard drives are clearly smaller than the mainstream 2.5" models, offer up to 250 GB and are frugal in use. In this category, the price per GB, currently starts at 0.28 euro (e.g. our test device), which is about triple to quadruple as expensive as bigger models. Compared to sticks, SSDs, or memory cards, they can, nevertheless, score in terms of price. SD-Cards cost about 1.20 euro/GB and USB 2.0 sticks about 0.75 euro/GB and more. At least 1.55 euro/GB are for example due for ADATA's Nobility NH-005 with USB 3.0 interface, whose relatively good performance convinces in return.
The case of our test model consists of plain black plastic, but, compared to the Samsung Mini S1, the quality seems a little worse. Even the glossy surface of the top side cannot change this and you are better off not to remove the protective sheet. However, the stability of the case is fine and we could not detect any weak points. Verbatim enclosed a small textile bag for transportation in the scope of delivery, which is considerably handier than Samsung's imitation leather bag with stiff surface structure. A comparably long Micro-USB-to-USB is available for connecting the drive to a PC.
The bundle also includes a backup software (on the hard drive) and a synchronization tool. At the first glance these appear to be acceptable and intuitively operated. Data can be encrypted (128 bit AES) and in case you loose it, the "lost-and-found"-functionality allows to send your contact data (and the reward) to the finder. However, we did not check, how well these tools stand the test of time.
Performance & Transfer Rates
The Verbatim Pocket Drive houses a 1.8“ Samsung HS25YJZ hard drive and features a capacity of 250 GB (2-platter), 8 MB Cache and works at 3600 rpm. The already reviewed Samsung S1 came with the same hard drive. Therefore, the performance of the two is nearly identical. Verbatim does not offer models with different capacities. In contrast, the Samsung Mini S1 is also available in 120 GB, 160 GB, and 200 GB. In achieving 28.5 MB/s in reading and 20.9 MB/s in writing our mass storage device cannot keep up with models with eSata- and USB 3.0 interface. But, at least in reading, the Verbatim does not need to hide compared to other USB- 2.0 models. Here, we could only observe a difference of 2-3 MB/s, because of the limits of USB-2.0. In contrast, the access time of 25.1 ms is less competitive, even more in comparison to good sticks or Solid-State drives. Therefore, impatient persons should rather install rescue systems or stickware on faster drives. However, the small Verbatim can especially be recommended to users of netbooks, ultra-portables, and subnotebooks as data container, backup drive, or additional memory.
While USB 2.0 hard drives in 2.5" size often need an additional power supply, and USB-3.0 and eSATA drives sometimes even refuse to start as we saw in our previous tests, small 1.8" drives usually work very reliably, because of their low maximum power consumption of 500mA (according to Samsung). Therewith, they do not exceed the USB-2.0 specification of a maximum of 500 mA. In practice the previously reviewed Samsung Mini S1 worked reliably regardless of the host computer: Android-Tablet, Windows-PC, or Apple-Notebook. We also tested our Verbatim test drive at all available computers and could not detect any problems.
The small 1.8" hard drive from Verbatim particularly qualifies for mobile use. It convinces with its good balance of size, weight, capacity, and price. So, it does not only help save money, but also requires little space in your laptop bag. Furthermore, the power supply works very reliably and the provided software covers important basic functions. The only disadvantage: The small Verbatim cannot keep up with current USB-3.0 or eSATA hard drives in terms of performance. It asks a little more for patience when copying data than usual nowadays.