34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Verbatim, a company long known for producing computer media, has released one of the few portable hard drives currently available that supports USB 3.0. The updated spec for USB has been a long time coming.
- Fast as all get-up
- Decent Samsung Spinpoint M7 HM500JI drive inside
- Backward compatible with USB 2.0
- Price premium worth the increased performance
- Nero BackItUp & Burn reasonably useful
- 7 year warranty. SEVEN YEARS!
- Dust-loving, easy to scratch glossy finish
- Dull exterior design
- Performance nowhere near the theoretical speeds
- Macs may not support USB 3.0 right away, if at all
Before I go on to the device review, I'll quickly go over the improvements in USB 3.0. They are significant. The most obvious improvement is speed. The theoretical transfer speed of USB 3.0 is 4.8 Gbit/s (600MBps) while USB 2.0 is 480 Mbit/s (60MBps). That's the advertised tenfold increase in speed. Practical, real-world speeds are closer to 85MBps for USB 3.0 and 22MBps for USB2.0. So really, an improvement of just under 4X. An example that Intel used was that a 27GB movie would take about 15 minutes or more to transfer over USB 2.0. With USB 3.0, we're talking 70 seconds. Excited yet? Some of the speed improvement is due to the bi-directional abilities of USB 3.0. USB 2.0 could only handle traffic one direction at a time. Obviously, the rotational speed of the hard disk will also factor in performance as well.
Another USB 3.0 improvement is increased power output and efficiency. With so many devices now being powered and charged via USB, this is a very timely improvement. The power output will increase from about 100mA to about 900mA. Now you can actually charge over USB 3.0 and have that iPhone or Droid charged in a few hours, rather than taking all day and night.
Also a note about USB 3.0 is that it is backward compatible with USB 2.0, but the cables are different. In order to get the benefits of USB 3.0, you'll need new cables. You'll also notice that USB 3.0 cables are much thicker because 5 new data lines have been added. Now on to the Verbatim Store 'n' Go SuperSpeed USB 3.0 drive, shall we?
The Verbatim Store 'n' Go has a USB 3.0 connector in the rear and non-skid feet on the bottom. It's important to note that the USB 3.0 connector is new and you must use a USB 3.0 cable. There's a small blue LED in the rear left corner to indicate power and drive activity. Unfortunately, the finish of the case is glossy and picks up fine scratches very easily. Mine already has a ton of scratches and that's from just basic handling of the drive. Also, the top of the enclosure looks like a little cap on top of the rest of the case. It's not flush with the rest of the case and makes for an odd looking case. The included USB 3.0 cable is very thick (about that of an Ethernet cable) and is approximately 2 feet in length. Here are the physical dimensions if you happen to be looking for a case for it:
4.72" x 3.11" x 0.71" (L x W x H)
Before I could test performance, I had to purchase an add-on card in order to get USB 3.0 support. I was surprised to find that the drive inside the Verbatim Store 'n' Go is actually a 5400RPM Samsung Spinpoint M7 drive with 8MB of cache; it's a pretty well regarded drive. Below are the HD Tune transfer rates for the Store 'n' Go, my Western Digital USB 2.0 drive, and the Samsung HM500JI in SATAII mode. Both external drives were tested while connected to my Buffalo Technology IFC-PCIE2U3 add-on card.
HD Tune: Verbatim Store 'n' Go USB 3.0
Transfer Rate Minimum : 42.5 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 86.5 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 68.7 MB/sec
HD Tune: WD My Passport Essential 071A USB 2.0
Transfer Rate Minimum: 28.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 33.0 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 32.3 MB/s
HD Tune: SAMSUNG HM500JI SATAII
Transfer Rate Minimum : 43.0 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 86.5 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 68.8 MB/sec
As you can see, the external USB 3.0 benchmark results are almost exactly the same of those of the Samsung drive in SATAII mode. This tells me that the Samsung drive is the performance bottleneck of the Verbatim USB 3.0 drive. Still, the Verbatim Store 'n' Go is now my favored portable backup drive because it's at least twice as fast as any of my USB 2.0 drives. Like other 500GB drives, it has 465GB of available space. It came pre-formatted in FAT32 but I reformatted it to NTFS since I don't need Mac + Windows support.
The Nero BackItUp & Burn application is a decent backup suite. I'm probably not going to give up using SyncToy or True Image, but it's always good to have options.
If you are not comfortable using Windows disk tools, go ahead and install the Verbatim Formatter tool, which allows you to format the drive to NTFS or FAT32. There is no partitioning support however. The Norton Online backup trial was of no interest to me.
I am flabbergasted at how Verbatim can warranty this drive for SEVEN years. Compare that to Western Digital and their 1 year warranty and it's a no brainer here. Granted, Verbatim doesn't actually make their own physical drives, but the warranty would be a big enough deal for me to buy the Verbatim over others.
Unfortunately, I had to find out Verbatim's procedures for RMA as my drive failed shortly after completing my tests and review. It is a fairly smooth process. I had to call a support number (not toll-free) and got to a support agent immediately. After some troubleshooting, they offered to replace the drive. You have to send them proof of purchase so that they can verify that the drive is under warranty and ship the drive back to them before they will release the replacement drive. It's pretty much what I expected.
The replacement drive worked flawlessly and I ran some tests on it and was able to copy about 300GB of data onto it with ease. Hard disk failures are a fact of life. When I used to work at a network operations center that monitored 4 international data centers, we lost at least 2 drives per week. Because of my experience with hard disks, I ALWAYS keep my data on at least 2 physical drives.
The only real concern I have with USB 3.0 is none other than that brilliant, turtle-necked rogue named Steve Jobs. It appears he doesn't immediately plan to include it on any Apple products. I've read that he may be waiting for Intel's support of USB 3.0 in their chipsets first and/or Intel's future optical cable technology called Light Peak. Light Peak might be released in the first half of 2011, and promises twice the theoretical speed of USB 3.0. Of course, these are still just rumors at the moment.
Just having USB 3.0 on the Verbatim Store 'n' Go gives the drive a huge advantage over USB 2.0 only drives. The 7 year warranty gives the Verbatim another huge advantage over other manufacturers. The price premium for USB 3.0 is about 20%, for a 100% increase in performance, which is reasonable. Though my first drive failed, replacing the drive was a fairly simple affair. The Verbatim Store 'n' Go is a nice portable hard drive and I recommend it (except to Mac users for now).
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3/25/14 Re-rated from 3 to 4 stars for quality and warranty and the fact every new computer uses USB3. My Verbatim still works fine and has never given me problems.
Edit 3/14/2013 - Now that USB 3 is more common in computers I can now advise that there should be no additional costs for anything to convert from USB 2 to USB 3. That would only apply to older computers that aren't equipped with a USB 3 port.
(Original review below)
I purposely waited until after I got (purchased) the 3.0 USB express card with power cord before I rated this item. The Verbatim drive comes with a USB 3.0 cable that is 2.0 backward compatible. It worked just like any other external USB drive would until I got the powered (yes it requires an open USB slot for power) 3.0 USB express card so I could use it at the intended speeds. I purchased the Chasetac SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ExpressCard Adapter 2 Port and am not sure how good the transfer rates should be on this card. It was the only powered one I could find and it cost me an additional 40 bucks.
The Verbatim USB 3.0 drive seems to only run twice as fast as USB 2.0 for me. I WISH it would run 'up to" 10 times faster like Vebtatim claims! It appears, via my tests below, that my eSATA drive runs significantly faster.
I'll compare transfer rates so you'll have the average of each transfer by connection type.
Transferring 3.53 Gigabytes of video in minutes and seconds:
From USB 3.0 Verbatim:
To desktop 1:44
To Western Digital eSASTA 1:12
To Free Agent USB 2.0 3:25
From desktop to Verbatim USB 3.0 - 2:25
From Western Digital eSATA to USB 3.0 - 1:47
From Free Agent 2.0 to USB 3.0 - 3:50
Using a larger file I time tested transfers again .... yes I'm nuts ... I did each transfer 3 times each way (for both sets of transfers) to get the average rate. All times within each transfer type was within seconds of each other.
Transferring 10.9 GB of video files in minutes and seconds:
To USB 3.0 Verbatim Drive 5:10
To eSATA Western Digital 4:20
To USB 2.0 Free Agent 10:42
From USB 3.0 Verbatim 4:16
From eSATA Western Digital 4:05
From USB 2.0 Free Agent 7.19
This drive is a very nice piece of hardware especially with the 7 year warranty. If you are not running the newest machines with USB 3.0 ports you will either use this at 2.0 speeds or spend money to by either a USB 3.0 express card or PC card. Please make sure you buy an express card with power because the express connection only does data. You'll be bummed if you don't. It will require use of a USB port but the express cards normally come with 2 USB 3.0 ports. Be prepared to spend another $30 or $40.00 for the speed upgrade.
It is a bit smaller than the Free Agent but I don't like the black piano finish. I wish they'd have made it matte or something else non glossy and it does run a bit on the uncomfortably warm side.
As you can see above the transfer rate compares well to eSATA although fairly well behind, but large in comparison to USB 2.0 yet not as large as Verbatim would have you believe. If you want faster transfer speeds, close to eSATA speed then this might be just what you are looking for.
I suggest waiting until you are ready to buy a new computer unless you want the upgraded speed now, although with an additional fee and more parts.
The transfer rates are excellent for a portable drive, although not even close to what the manufacturer claims, and the shiny plastic case worries me. This hard drive also comes with backup software if you don't already have a program. If you do you can reformat the drive to NTFS instead of its native FAT 32. If you want a drive with a killer warranty (who else even offers anything near 7 years?), does fast transfers, is very small and portable, and are willing to buy the USB 3.0 ports then this is for you.
Those of you running eSATA may as well avoid USB 3.0 completely as you can see from the averaged transfer times listed above. Those of you unwilling to spend more be aware you will run at 2.0.
On a high note for Verbatim: After ordering this I had no idea if I also needed to buy the USB 3.0 cord as it is not listed in the advert so I called Verbatim support and lo and behold a live US operator answered my call almost immediately. He checked (because this product is new) to see if the cord came with it and came back in 30 seconds with a yes. That call impressed me with Verbatim because I called at a very late mainland hour and was answered by a live person virtually immediately. I believe I can trust their customer support fully.
I've not had any problems with this drive in the weeks I have been running it. (Mostly at 2.0)
I rated it 3 stars due to the fact that one must purchase additional components to take advantage of the USB 3.0 speeds which, apparently, do not even get near what the manufacturer claims. Granted double USB 2.0 speed is great but I'd much rather get the "up to" 10 times speed as advertised. This product just may be a tad early to market but, still, you cannot beat a 7 year warranty and the doubling of USB 2.0 speeds ... yet.
I now use this at USB 2.0 speeds due to the rat's nest of wiring required to run at USB 3.0. I don't believe the speed advantage is worth having that extra part and wires flowing out of my laptop's side. I hope I've helped if you own a laptop. If you are USB 3.0 ready then by all means go for it.
Photo of all wiring involved for running this on a laptop that I previously posted has been moved with the other photos. The ones I posted show the laptop, the USB3 adapter, power cord, and Verbatim drive showing all of the wiring required when using it with an older laptop. The wiring situation has changed for me and I only use the USB3 plug now. The speed remains the same.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2012
I bought this drive to move an existing iPhoto library from a MacBook.
- Small, large capacity, and very quiet operation
- Seven (7) year warranty
- Preloaded software for Mac (or PC) works great for reformatting (I originally reformatted it with Disk Utility. I got curious so I reformatted, and then I used the formatting software from Verbatim. The only difference between the two applications was that Verbatim didn't let you choose which HFS+ you wanted to use, but defaults to HFS+ with journaling.
- The preloaded software also has an option to make a backup copy of itself to any location you choose. This is nice to have before you start formatting.
- Backward compatible with USB 2.0 (We don't have any computers with USB 3.0)
- Included cable is mini-USB to USB. I, personally, would have preferred USB-USB, but I know that mini-USB is used because of space and size limitations.
- Glossy finish is a dust, pet hair, fingerprint, etc. magnet. I really don't know why they keep putting glossy black finishes on so many tech devices.
- Included "manual" is worthless. Its as helpful as a "How to use" guide on a water bottle. It looks like it might have some good information given its bulk, but that's just because it is printed in four different languages. The more helpful manuals are located in the preloaded software and you can locate them directly on the drive.
So far, I've only had it for a few days. If anything should change, I will update this review.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2012
This drive failed after 5 months. It was a primary drive I was using to story all my pictures, videos, itunes, data, etc. I had a copy of all of it on a Western Digital external as well and ordered. The drive just quick on me. I tried it on other USBs and on another computer with no luck. Called and emailed Verbatim and got the usual response of reboot, try in another USB and another computer. Said I tried it and they indicated it probabily failed..... no offer was extended to replace it and I am not sure I want to send it back with potnetial data on it.
SOlution: ordered a Western Digital Essentails and it is going to be a backup. Will also get NAS system in place shortly as kids picturesover the last years are important to us.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2013
I am a newish PC gamer, so my standard laptop did not hold enough memory in its C Drive to hold all these games, along with tons of music, pictures, and several videos. If you need an external hard drive, this is the way to go. It's incredibly small (shorter than a checkbook, and less thick than a man's wallet). Nice price, easy to use, and overall great product.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I've been using computers long before there was USB. I've always thought USB was overhyped. Even with USB 2.0, you'd never get 480Mbps out of it due all the overhead. Typical is more like 20 to 30 MBps. As a result, I've been using 1394 Firewire and 1394B (FW800) up until a couple of years ago. You can easily get 2X to 3X the real-world throughput with 1394 compared to USB 2.0. Until, that is, Microsoft botched the Firewire support under Vista and W7. Out of desperation, I changed to SATA and eSATA, although much less convenient due to the lack of power.
With this little Verbatim product, however, I can claim 1394 is dead. Or at least it will when Apple finally gets around to supporting it. It is head-and-shoulders better than USB 2.0 and any 1394 I've used. Using USB 3.0 and a very fast Intel G2 SSD, however, I only got about 1/2 the throughput using USB 3.0 compared to native SATA II.
This Verbatim Store 'n' Go contains a Samsung M7 HM500JI conventional drive running 2 platters and 5400 RPM. It is, however, not fast enough to test the limits of USB 3.0. Using a USB 3.0 interface compared to a USB 2.0 interface, I got nearly 3X the speed and a negligible hit on the maximum transfer rates compared to native SATA II operation. The small file reads/writes do take a moderate hit, but this is still a very fine single-cable external interface. Also, this product works great with the Windows "Safely Remove Hardware" and plug-and-play features. Be sure to take a look at my customer pictures for various benchmark tests.
The hard drive is a modern/conventional 2 platter drive with a bit slowish access times, but still very good for a conventional hard drive. In terms of noise, it is comparable to other 2 platter drives. I have not experienced the failures that other reviewers have so knock on wood.
The case is a rather generic, plain looking plastic design. It has a curved hat top which I do not find particularly attractive. It is a super-glossy black, so it shows fingerprints easily. With use, I'm sure it will look quite ratty with fine scratches. I wish Verbatim chose a different style case.
In case you were wondering, it does come with a USB 3.0 cable - A to micro-B, black, and just under 2 feet long. This is a good thing because these cables are very difficult to find. Again, see my customer images. You can use this cable with a USB 2.0 port, but a normal USB 2.0 (mini-B) cable will not fit this, so if you need a longer cable, you will have to get one. Personally, I like the shorter cable and reduced clutter, and longer cables are comparatively easier to find than short USB 3.0 cables.
Overall, I give this product 4 stars because of the case. I am not normally a Samsung hard drive person, so I will reserve my judgment until later. I also don't like how the product is hyped as being faster than SATA II when it is not.
Being one of the first external hard drives to use a USB 3.0 interface, I give a lot of credit to Verbatim. It is really a nice setup. Hopefully, the drive inside will prove reliable. Hope you find my review and all my customer images useful.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2013
I have an older Verbatim portable hard drive. This one is far superior. Fast...fast...fast. And easy to use. Would certainly buy another when the time comes.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2012
These things sure start out great. It is fast, nice capacity, and powered by the USB port. It runs quietly when it works. Unfortunately it quit working after 8 months. I use this external hard drive to back up my wife's work. It is a critical business device. It turned out to be a bad decision. I may be getting a replacement, but why if I can't trust it?
I will be looking into online backup services like Google. Always there, always accessible from anywhere.
I researched and read through the reviews trying to find an external hard drive that was reliable. Sadly I see the same story with most if not all brands.
I would not recommend this product.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2013
Purchased Sept 27,2012, and got it in Oct. It stopped working recently. Unfortunately there were some files which weren't backed up. The drive when plugged in would spin up and then stop - during spin-up the drive never registered under Computer drop down menu. Verbatim is a manufacturers that have a 7 year warranty. I'll find out if this true since I plan to try to return to Verbatim.
I've had other Verbatim's with 7 year warranty and they have been working for a few years now.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This unit is very easy to use. Just plug it in and go. It works with USB 2 and 3. I don't have 3 but am exticed to see how fast it goes once I do. I copied all my music on to this one and had no problems. It went fast. I play all the songs off it and it works fine. It stays cool and doesn't make any sound. I would buy another when I need it.