A few years back, buying an external hard drive meant buying an overpriced, loud, clunky housing, and then having to spring for a hard drive separately. It was, essentially, a pain. Even carrying it around was an annoyance, to some degree.
These days, things have changed. Now the purchase of an external hard drive is a simple affair. Pick the one you want, with the capacity you want, and take it to the check-out point. This is probably largely due to the popularity of external hard drives these days. Shifting data around is always needed, whether it be important work documents or a bunch of illicit video files nicked off of the Internet. And, with long download times via email (aside from email size restrictions) and the generally smaller storage capacity of other data transfer devices, the external hard drive makes a lot of sense. And among those sensible devices are some that make even more sense, for various reason.
Apacer’s AC430 external hard drive is one of those. First of all, it makes use of a 2.5” drive. That means that it’s small. It’s not quite what one could consider pocketsized, but it comes close. That means easy transportation, facilitated by a stylish protective slip-case included in the box. Further portability is implied by the unit’s sturdy design.
The casing is mostly finished in brushed metal, with sturdy plastic caps covering the ends. An internal anti-shock system will help protect against accidental bumps and bruises, although heavy blows may still have an effect on the device’s performance. So don’t throw it at people who annoy you.
The 2.5” drive in the model we tested offers a fairly generous 500GB of storage space, which can be transferred to and from the device via a USB cable. Power is also supplied to the unit via the same cable, so the need for lugging an extra power adapter around is removed. On the downside, though, it uses a very specific USB cable… the plug on the unit itself is an odd one, so you’ll want to treat the included cable like gold. The carry-case has an elasticised strap to hold it in place, but you may want to consider a slightly sturdier option than that.
Best of all: it’s USB 3.0. We haven’t seen too many devices using this new speed standard yet, so the very fast data transfer rates that the AC430 offers are something of a treat. Naturally this can be used with all other iterations of USB technology, but that speed is sublime.
The device also has a smart power management system, so leaving it plugged into your PC or laptop for extended periods of time will not put too much strain on the system.
The drive’s power status is indicated by an LED light housed behind one of the plastic end-caps.
OK, maybe the USB 3.0 isn’t the best aspect here… we really like the price. Considering the reliability and performance of the unit, as well as its sleek, sturdy design, the recommended retail price is really rather sweet. All in all, a winner.
Sturdy, stylish and fast… it’s like an external HDD version of a sports car.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.