Hard disks aren’t the most exciting of products, but Verbatim’s Executive drive has a number of useful features that help it to stand out from the crowd. See also Group test: what's the best portable hard drive?

We tested the 750GB version of the Executive, which costs £101.99, but there are also 500GB and 1TB models priced at £86.99 and £127.99. It’s a slim, lightweight unit that measures just 18mm thick and weighs 154g, so it’s certainly easy to carry with you when you’re out and about with your laptop. Visit Seagate Backup Plus review.

It’s available in a number of different colours, but the most noticeable feature is the glowing button sitting on the top edge of the drive. The Executive software provided with the drive runs on both Macs and PCs, and allows you to program that button to perform one of several possible actions. It can eject the drive for you, start a Time Machine backup, launch a particular file or web site, or even lock your Mac so that no one can sneak a peek at your files when your back is turned. For additional security there’s also a separate Protection program that allows you to set a password and encrypt your files too.

Our only minor complaint was that the software provided to reformat the drive was a little erratic, and sometimes produced error messages as we switched between Windows FAT format and the Mac’s HFS+ format during our tests. However, it only took a few seconds to reformat the drive using Apple’s standard Disk Utility program, so that wasn’t a major problem.

Performance was very good, with the Executive backing up our 5GB batch of test files in a speedy 55 seconds. That puts it way ahead of USB 2 or Firewire drive, so it’s definitely a good back-up option.

Verbatim Store ‘n Go Executive: Specs

  • Power: Bus powered via USB 3.0 cable
  • Interface: USB 3.0 / 2.0 port
  • Data Transfer Rate: up to 4800 Mbits/second (USB Bus Speed)
  • Rotational Speed: 5400rpm
  • Cache: 8MB or greater
  • Size: 123 x 82 x 18mm
  • Weight: 154g
  • Power: Bus powered via USB 3.0 cable
  • Interface: USB 3.0 / 2.0 port
  • Data Transfer Rate: up to 4800 Mbits/second (USB Bus Speed)
  • Rotational Speed: 5400rpm
  • Cache: 8MB or greater
  • Size: 123 x 82 x 18mm
  • Weight: 154g

OUR VERDICT

The Executive isn’t the cheapest USB 3 drive currently available, but it provides strong performance and some useful software features. Its security features will particularly appeal to business users who want to keep their data safe when they’re working away from the office.

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