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Waste of Time and Money - Bizarre Tradeoffs
on October 6, 2011
If you're considering purchasing this drive, you should be aware of the tradeoffs involved in trying to use it.
On paper the drive looks great. I really wanted it to work. In reality, it is designed so that you can't actually make use of all of its features at the same time.
The drive's features are a USB hub, high power port for charging an iPad, Firewire 800 port for higher speed disk I/O and LED indicators on the front to show you how space has been used.
If you connect the drive via USB, the "high power" port for charging your iPad reverts to low power and your iPad will tell you that it's not charging (it will actually still charge, albeit very very slowly). If you do not connect the drive via USB you (obviously) will not be able to utilize the additional USB ports. You will be able to charge your iPad quickly but you will not be able to sync it via USB.
So you get to choose - either fast charging for your iPad or usable USB ports.
If you want to use the Firewire 800 port for better disk performance, you can't also use the USB port. If you connect both, the drive will randomly switch between Firewire and USB when your computer sleeps and re-awakens. If you're using the disk for Time Machine your backups will randomly fail.
So you get to choose - higher speed disk access or usable USB ports. Of course if you opt for higher speed disk access you'll also be able to charge your iPad faster. You just won't be able to sync it.
Finally, the software that controls the LEDs on the front of the drive is rather poor and doesn't hide itself. So you'll always see the Mac Companion software when you're switching between applications.
You're better off buying a 3TB external drive and separate USB hub and saving yourself a bunch of $$$. The drive looks beautiful, it's true, but it's hard to understand why Iomega thought that these tradeoffs were acceptable. I'm thankful that Amazon's returns policy will save me from having wasted money on this clunker.