• Price When Reviewed: £85

  • Pros: Fast transfer of files

  • Cons: Poor, cheap-looking design; no anti-drop technology; no 320GB version

  • Expert Rating: We rate this 7 out of 10We rate this 7 out of 10We rate this 7 out of 10We rate this 7 out of 10We rate this 7 out of 10 We rate this 7 out of 10

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Iomega introduced the eGo series of pocket-sized hard drives last summer, but has recently introduced a 250MB model with USB 2.0 and FireWire ports. It’s available red, white and black versions. The 160GB version is still available for £68 (plus VAT) in black and white.

The eGo is a hip-flask sized unit that – like most portable drives – runs without needing an external power supply, taking power from either the FireWire cable to a two-port USB splitter cable.

The unit has a smooth, rounded shape – and is so small that it fits easily in a jacket pocket or the back pocket of your jeans. However, it’s let down somewhat by its design. The red and black versions look reasonable, but the white edition supplied to us for testing looks rather cheap and will scratch and scuff easily. The glossy case also makes it slippery – and the dual-interface eGo lacks the DropShock and DropGuard data protection technology found on the USB 2.0-only version: this is not a drive for the clammy handed.

The eGo’s performance in our tests was good for a portable hard drive. Inside the eGo is a 5,400rpm drive – which is the same speed as most pocket-sized drives. This means the data transfer rate over USB 2.0 and FireWire never gets above 30MBps. We tested the eGo using AJA’s Kona System Test for its video boards and obtained data rates of up 27.9MBps (write) and 29.3MBps (read) over USB 2.0 and 25.5MBps (write) and 28.7MBps (read) over FireWire.

Copying 20GB of data to the eGo took around 13 minutes over both USB and FireWire, while copying it back took around 11 minutes. These are impressive scores – though they’re less than what you’d get from a external desktop drive.

The eGo is a worthwhile investment if you don’t mind the design. It’s also a shame that there isn’t a 320GB version, as rival vendors offer this capacity.