Dropping your external hard drive can be a harrowing experience.
The fall from your hand to the ground seems to take longer than it took Felix Baumgartner to get up to the stratosphere. Then there’s the matter of checking whether your hard drive still works and the inevitable groan of disappointment when your PC doesn’t respond to the hard drive being plugged in.
For the last two weeks we have been testing a possible solution to that problem, namely the Transcend StoreJet 25M3 portable hard drive.
This external drive’s claim to fame is three-stage anti-shock protection which is supposed to protect the drive when it takes a tumble.
Taking a look at the documentation reveals that the drop test is based on military MIL-STD-810G 516.6 standards and the drops were not done while the drive was operating.
It must also be pointed out that the drive is not invulnerable.
The problem with MIL-STG-810G 516.6 is that recreating the test in real life is a bit tricky. To be frank, the test is actually to gauge how much shock the drive can withstand and since we don’t have a way to measure how many Gs the drive is pulling we won’t be able to say this drive meets the exact standards it claims to have.
What we can do however, is drop the thing in a variety of ways to see if it survives. It’s crude but frankly this is the best way we could think to introduce shock to the drive without investing thousands in specialised equipment.
Every day for two weeks we have dropped the drive at least once. This has been done from a height of 71cm (desk), 1m (at torso level) and the slightly more absurd 1.5m (shoulder height) to see whether it survived.
The good news is that the drive is still working perfectly with no rattling coming from inside the drive and performance never degraded.
Speaking of performance let’s take a look.
The drive uses a USB 3.1 interface and has a maximum transfer rate of 5Gbps. Due to limitations of our system the highest transfer speed we saw was 133.9MBps or 1Gbps.
The drive’s read speed clocks in at 133.6MBps or 1Gbps.
Copying a 4GB file to the drive took us 35 seconds while copying from the drive took 33 seconds.
Performance is about what we’d expect from a 2.5inch drive but you would see faster speeds from an SSD.
Aside from the anti-shock protection this hard drive is just like other external hard drives.
Yes it is hardy but you’ll be paying a premium for that protection.
You do also get Transcend Elite software which allows for one-touch backups using the button on the exterior of the casing. That having been said we don’t foresee this being as much of a factor in purchasing decisions thanks to the price.
At R1 038 (Wootware) for the 1TB version the Transcend StoreJet 25M3 is R300 more expensive than a hard drive without the anti-shock protection.
The peace of mind you have should you accidentally drop the hard drive is great but it’s a bit too there is no guarantee that the drive will survive a drop. Our testing shows that it is reliable but results may vary.
Our advice is rather look at a cheaper drive or even get a cloud storage subscription to store important documents.