Storage is all important, whether you need it for your day-to-day work, or for backing up those important files, you can never have enough of it. A lot of users are now turning to off-site storage solutions, such as Amazons S3 service. However, if you need something fast and reliable, then there is no other option that a desktop hard drive.
Iomega have been in this game for a long time. I remember with a warm glow, the day when the original Zip Drive was released. Wow, all that data on a tiny little disk, the size of a fat 3.5-inch floppy. Well, they kindly sent me there Professional Series Desktop Hard Drive, with triple interface to review. Offering up 500GB of storage, with USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and two FireWire 800 ports lined up across the back panel. It is also nice to see an on/off switch on the back too (many drives don’t come with one now, they just turn on and off with the computer system they are connected to).
There is not normally a lot to get excited about with devices of this nature, but I must say that the feel of this unit is superb. Plastic front, back and sides, but a lovely brushed aluminum top and underside panel, gives it a really nice solid feel. It also comes supplied with all the cables you need (although my sample was missing the FireWire 800 cable), you should get USB, FW400 and FW800 cables in the box. The power supply is a small brick type affair, into which you plug a figure 8 cable for your particular country. A Quick Start Guide is also enclosed in printed form, along with a software CD that also includes EMC Retrospect backup software. There is also a small plastic stand included, so you can stand the unit on its side to save valuable desk space. If you prefer to put the unit down flat there are four small rubber feet to dampen any vibrations.
In use the Iomega drive performed flawlessly. The noise generated is pretty darn good, seeming quieter than some hard drives I have previously tested. This has a lot to do with the decent enclosure, build quality and no doubt damping on the hard drive. On the speed front, it performed as expected on USB 2 and FireWire 400. Using the FireWire 800 connection (if possible) is definitely the way to go. Data transfer was very fast indeed, and although this is not a comparative review, the Iomega was faster than a Freecom Pro hard drive, but a little slower than the Western Digital MyBook Studio edition.
The flexibility of the triple interface on the Iomega Pro Desktop Drive, coupled with the rock solid build quality, make this a very sensible choice. If it comes down to brand, then you cannot go far wrong with a manufacturer that has been around for so long. If you need 500GB or more of storage (this particular drive from the professional series goes up to 750GB with the triple interface, or 1.5TB with eSATA and USB2 interface), then this drive should definitely be on your shortlist.