Disclaimer: Apricorn provided the review unit to the author for testing and review. Also be aware that Apricorn has no input into the content of this, or any other review.
Categories of accessories are pretty well established these days now that computing is a mature platform. When thinking of external storage that gets plugged into a USB port, on the one hand we have the small flash drive. It is light and portable, but limited by the capacity. On the other hand we have an external hard drive. These devices offer high capacity, but the trade off is increased weight, a larger size, and they are subject to mechanical failure.
The Aegis Portable 3 fits in neither category, and in fact straddles between these two categories. It is an external drive, that fits into the 2.5" hard drive category, but it is based on an SSD drive (other versions are available with a mechanical hard drive). While it still has the size of an external casing of a notebook hard drive, it gains the advantages of first and foremost speed, and secondarily a lighter weight, and a resilence to falls.
The drive comes with the external drive itself, a case, a "Quick Start Guide," and a cable to plug the drive into two USB ports for additional power in the unlikely case that is needed. Similar to previous Apricorn products, it has the USB plug and short cord integrated into the device itself. The external drive is composed of silver and black plastic, and has only a single green LED. It has no software preloaded, but works as a USB mass storage device, which makes it compatible with any modern OS, including Windows and Apple. The drive is powered by the USB port.
For the record, all testing was done on my Lenovo Ideapad S400 running Windows 8, while on AC power. This notebook has both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports making it ideal to look for any speed difference between the generation of USB ports.
The drive that was sent for testing was the 256 GB capacity. With formatting it had 238 GB of usable space.
The drive speeds were tested using HDTune 2.55. On the USB 2.0 port, the average speed was 29.1 MB/sec. Recall that the maximum speed the 2.0 standard was designed for was 35 MB/sec, and the Aegis Portable 3 is pretty close to saturating the maximum speed that the USB 2.0 can do. Next, the drive was plugged into the USB 3.0 port. Now the drive came into its own, and the average speed was 224.1 MB/sec. This was considerably faster, and also impressive was that the CPU Utilization dropped by half as well. By way of comparison, the last mechanical hard drive Itested in the USB 3.0 port ran at 88.6 MB/sec, and this flash drive smoked it.
The drive is available in the following varieties:
- Mechanical Hard Drive 500GB- $79
- Mechanical Hard Drive 1 TB- $109
- Mechanical Hard Drive 1.5 TB- $189
- Solid State Drive 256 GB- $399
- Solid State Drive 512 GB- $599
The Apricorn Aegis Portable 3 external drive is a good solution for portable backup on the go. For those that have outgrown their USB thumb drive, it represents a simple solution. For those with a newer computer that can take advantage of the USB 3.0 speeds, the SSD is an option to consider, although it does command a more premium price. For example, a photographer looking to archive their memory cards on a frequent basis, the SSD would make a lot of sense, however budget minded consumers, or those with no USB 3.0 port should stick with the mechanical hard drive based one. Then again, more speed, and a little future proofing are never a bad thing.
Overall Grade: A