Review Verbatim Store'n'go Portable Hard Drive USB 3.0 500GB
Fast Data Storage Device.
With USB 3.0, a new standard is establishing itself more and more, uniting speed and power supply. We've tested how well this works on the Verbatim Store'n'go.
The simple two-coloured case is enveloped by a robust hull in an aluminium style and features semi-transparent black plastic elements only on the sides and the top. Dimensions and weight correspond exactly to the manufacturer's specification at 127 x 82 x 20 mm and 162g.
On the rear side there's the USB 3.0 interface. An additional power supply or an alternative interface isn't present. The appropriate USB 3.0 cable is in the box. Likewise, in the delivery contents, there's the software Nero Backitup/ Burn Essentials (data backup, burning, recovery) and Green Button (energy saving tool) already on the hard disk.
As for the drive deployed, in our device there's a Fujitsu MJA2500BH G2 (now Toshiba) with a capacity of 500 GB. It runs at 5400 RPM and has 8 MB cache. In delivery condition the hard disk is formatted to FAT32, thus it can be used on both Mac OS X and Windows out of the box. The data medium from Fujitsu is convincing for its very good performance for a 5400 RPM hard disk. With transfer rates at a maximum of 90.2 MB/s and 70.2 MB/s on average, it's in the top bracket of its device class. These transfer rates are completely achieved by USB 3.0 and the rates are only limited by the performance capacity of the hard disk itself. What turned out to be rather average are, however, the access times, at 18.2 ms. To this end see our extensive HDD benchmark list.
Connected to a USB 2.0 port, the Store'n'go reached a relatively good rate of 32.7 MB/s. Thus it offers reasonable performance to computers without USB 3.0. On Mac OS X Leopard we reached a rarely deviating 31.9 MB/s. USB 3.0 is, like eSATA, still unusable on MacBooks. As always, Mac users have to wait for fast interfaces and make do with FireWire 400/800 and USB 2.0 for now. The access times are likewise on the same level, at 18.4 ms.
The energy supply should, in the case of the Verbatim Store'n'go, be completely provided by the USB 3.0 port. In the review this didn't turn out to be completely without problems, as the drive didn't always start working. On some USB 2.0 ports (HP 6540b) and the USB 3.0 ports of different ExpressCards (Typhoon and Raidsonic) the hard disk remained inactive after the status LED briefly illuminated. At any rate, only with an additional USB 2.0 energy supply of the USB 3.0 ExpressCard did it start operating. This makes us assume that, at least in the start-up phase, more energy is required than the 900mA designated to USB 3.0. Fujitsu (Toshiba) quotes energy consumption when booting for this hard disk of 5 Watt.
However, the Mac Mini (Windows Vista / Mac OS X) and HP 5101 (Linux Mint) supplied the hard disk with energy via USB 2.0 problem-free and don't seem to be too strict about the USB 2.0 specification. We didn't have a laptop with an integrated USB 3.0 port available for the review. However, there was no such problem getting a desktop computer with an integrated USB 3.0 interface (MSI 880GMA-E45). The hard disk was immediately recognised and began operating as desired.
The Verbatim Store'n'go Portable Hard Drive 500GB USB 3.0 is available for a street price of around 75 Euro and delivers a balanced price/performance ratio. The combination of presentable case, fast transfer rates and fundamentally simple operating is pleasing. Unfortunately the hard disk doesn't work reliably on each interface, which is down to the high booting energy consumption of the deployed Fujitsu hard disk. Consequently the tested hard disk is, despite the good characteristics, only recommendable to users whose interfaces can definitely provide the power.