Iomega Leather eGo Drive Review

by Reads (3,145)

The Portable Genuine Leather eGo Drive is a new and innovative USB powered hard drive from Iomega. This drive combines solid looks with its genuine leather wrapped body and durability with its Drop Guard protection. Coming in at $142 for the 250GB version this model is priced to compete, but how will it stack up against the competition?

 

Our review model specifications:

  • Capacity: 250GB
  • Preformatted and hot plug-and-play
  • No AC adapter needed
  • Compatible with PC and Mac
  • USB 2.0/1.1 compatible
  • Transfer rates: USB 2.0 480 Mbits/s
  • Includes EMC Retrospect Express backup and disaster recovery software (PC & Mac)
  • One-year limited warranty
  • Size: .90 x 3.35 x 5.93 (L x W x H)
  • Weight: .57 lbs


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Build and Design

The design of the Iomega eGo drive combined with the leather wrapping makes it look almost identical to a drinking flask. The contoured shape that fits perfectly in a front pocket and the chrome trim that looks like a fluid container under the leather. The only thing really missing is the spout. Overall I think the design looks pretty nice, and the leather gives the drive a bit of a soft feel for easy carrying. I can only imagine that as it gets used and abused more, the leather will only become more soft and supple as long as you give it the Lexol treatment every couple of months.


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One styling feature that I really love about this drive is its white LED activity indicator. Most of the drives we see use red, blue, green, or even purple LEDs, which are usually super bright and super annoying. The white LED found on the eGo drive is just bright enough to see in an office setting, but not distracting to stand out when it is blinking during transfers.


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Build quality is excellent, with one of the most durable designs I have seen on a portable drive yet. With the plastic end caps removed from each side, you see that the leather is wrapped around an aluminum shell, and the hard drive slides in on big silicone bumpers. This is where all of the shock protection takes place, giving the drive an extra edge to survive if someone’s hand slips and it goes for a nose dive into a hard floor. With every other portable drive I have seen, the drive slides into the container on grooves, with little or no shock protection for the drive. The Iomega eGo drive clearly has a leg up on competitors in this category.

Performance and Benchmarks

With a capacity of 250GB, Iomega claims that this drive can hold 1,000,000 photos, 4,625 hours of music, or 375 hours of video. As far as storage goes that is more than double my laptops main drive, making it perfect for backups and additional storage.

The Iomega Portable eGo drive uses a standard USB2.0 interface, which generally translates to great compatibility, but not so great transfer speeds compared to the drives native SATA interface. For benchmarks I had the drive connected to my ThinkPad T60, and used HDTune and Atto. Transfer speeds were around what we had expected, almost mark of the top transfer limit of USB2.0. I am guessing that if the drive had used eSATA or its native internal SATA connection, we would have seen almost double the speeds indicated in the benchmarks below.

HDTune Iomega

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ATTO Iomega

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HDTune WD Passport

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Compared to the320GB Western Digital Passport, the Iomega eGo drive edged it out by almost 1MB/s on its average speed. It also had a faster access time, burst rate, and lower processor usage.

Heat and Noise

Sound wise you can barely tell if the drive is powered up or even in use without looking at the white LED activity light. The silicone drive rails and leather cover work wonders for sound isolation, and keep the drive near silent while in use. Occasionally you might hear a tick from the drive as its head parks, but other than that you don’t even know it is powered on.

Thermal performance is great, with the drive feeling just a hair over room temperature. Considering the internal drive is only 5400RPM, we were not expecting much of a thermal output in the first place.

 

Conclusion

The Iomega Portable Genuine Leather eGo drive is an excellent little storage device with decent looks, solid durability, and modest performance. The leather gives it an edge against competitors devices that blend in with the crowd, and lets you freak out coworkers when you pull this out of your suit pocket during an early morning board meeting. Besides offering a model with a eSATA interface in the future, I don’t really see any particular areas of this drive that need to be improved. I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it to anyone.

Pros

  • Nothing beats chrome and leather styling
  • Great shock protection with silicone rubber bumpers
  • Attractive white LED activity light
  • Leather acts as a soft grip for easy carrying

Cons

  • May occasionally get thought of as a drinker when people first see it


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