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Thread: Mini external HDDs, what to look for?

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    Goron goron Kumagoro's Avatar
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    Mini external HDDs, what to look for?

    I am after a external laptop HDD and want to know what to look out for when buying one.

    What seperates the top of the range ones from the mid and bottom. Other than HDD size what
    features do you get?

    If I bought a caddy and a HDD would getting a 7200 make much difference in the case of using it
    over USB 2.

    Also having a look at the thecus caddies they state you can back up your say digital photos off your
    camera on to it without a PC. Any other do that?

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    Re: Mini external HDDs, what to look for?

    Since you said 'mini' external HD for laptop use, ask yourself if you want a 3.5" drive or a 2.5" drive. The former is a brick (hence LaCie have a range called 'BRICK'), requiring it's own power supply, and I personally would not really like to use those for regular transportation.

    A 2.5" is considerably smaller (I'd say 1/3rd in volume - maybe even less, and I am ignoring the power supply of those bricks) and can be USB powered. Don't expect anything faster than 5400rpm, nor do I think there are drive larger than 250GB at this point.

    I don't think there is much difference other than the usual (interface, cost). You may be interested in the HD used in their casing if you are a preference there. The Maxtor OneTouch has a button that allows you to backup or launch some applications - but I do not think it is something crucial.

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    Goron goron Kumagoro's Avatar
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    Re: Mini external HDDs, what to look for?

    Thanks for the reply Toonice. I was after a 2.5 inch one.

    I have had a bit of a look and the thecus yes nano seems to be what I am after. The battery back up
    along with being able to back up stuff off your digital camera seems pretty handy.

    What I am wondering is do other ones do that too? such as the western digital passport
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=528997

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    Re: Mini external HDDs, what to look for?

    If it's speed you want, check if your laptop has a firewire interface (many have one for DV cams). A FW400 interface is around 50% faster than USB2. Unfortunately many laptop FW400 connectors are the 4-pin Sony 'i-link' style, which doesn't provide power.

    There's a substantial price premium attached to mobile external drives (mobile 250Gb: £105, desktop 250Gb: £50), but they weigh a lot less (105g vs 1.15kg). If you just want something you can throw in a suitcase and setup in your hotel room or wherever, then the extra weight might not be that much of a factor.

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    Goron goron Kumagoro's Avatar
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    Re: Mini external HDDs, what to look for?

    For general compatibility I will go for a USB 2 one. I am not too fussed about speed I just wondered
    if a 7200 rpm drive makes any difference or whether the bottleneck is generally in controlling electronics

    The copying of stuff off digi cams is probably now my biggest interest. I am wondering if the one
    button back ups on many of the things will work in that way or if its just the thecus caddy. Also as they
    are usb powered can they be powered of a usb connection to a digi cam (my instinct says)

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    Re: Mini external HDDs, what to look for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kumagoro View Post
    I am after a external laptop HDD and want to know what to look out for when buying one.
    ....
    For me the key point was to have it powered form the USB port as I wanted to use it with a laptop and not carry an extra brick (and to use it where there might not be power available).

    I went for the Maxtor 120gb one touch and have been happy with it. It comes with their one touch backup software, which seems to work well. Around £55 or get the 160gb version for another tenner or so.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=576168

    Rgrds

    Peter

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    Re: Mini external HDDs, what to look for?

    corylus, does the one touch back up thing work with digicams?

    I have now bought the thecus because I know it can do with but I would still like to know.

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    Re: Mini external HDDs, what to look for?

    As long as the phone is recognised as a mass storage device then the Once Touch should back them up just fine.

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