Product review: Iomega portable hard drive

18 Oct 2006

Anyone who remembers their student days would remember the stress that came with managing handfuls of floppy disks that sometimes wouldn’t even open on the college computer after eventually one came available. And don’t forget the fear that came with walking through a shop door and the magnetic contents of said disk mysteriously disappearing.

Well today, most sophisticated students and executives would carry a USB key on their car keys that could probably store the entire contents of all those disks combined.

The computers we use today, from the average laptop to the sturdy desktop, also have tonnes of storage, despite the fact that most people just email documents to one another anyway.

In the era of digital media, however, with everything from high-res images to thousands of music files, oodles of storage on a computer alone is not enough.

Data storage firm Iomega has developed a portable hard drive (pictured) that allows businesses and students to back up all their media.

At 80GB the device provides equal, if not more than, the average storage on a laptop computer (my own stores 60GB), so you get my drift.

The beauty of it is that you don’t need to install any software and it works with both PCs and Macs. You just plug in the USB cable (or FireWire) into your computer and off you go. In seconds I was able to transfer all the pictures off my desktop and onto the hard drive for backup.

The device itself resembles a portable music player and is only slightly longer. The idea is you just throw it into a spare pocket in your laptop bag and you can back up documents as you move around. This product would actually be perfect for a press photographer or somebody who accumulates vast quantities of intellectual property in their job.

The 80GB hard drive retails for a recommended price of €119 in most electronic retail stores, including Cantec, Harvey Norman and Soundstore. It is also available online direct from Iomega at

And, if you think 80GB is loads, the device has a bigger brother capable of storing a massive 120GB of data.


Handling: ****
Features: ***
Performance: ****
Value for Money: ***

By John Kennedy