We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Portable storage Reviews
15,670 Reviews

ADATA NH01 Nobility review

£90 inc VAT

Manufacturer: A-DATA Technology

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The ADATA NH01 Nobility is a portable hard drive with 640GB capacity and sporting a very fast USB 3 connection

The ADATA NH01 Nobility is a portable hard drive with 640GB capacity and sporting a very fast USB 3 connection

Portable hard drives are a great way to carry around huge amounts of data. Unfortunately, getting that data on or off the drive can be a chore when you have 500GB or more to transport at once, and your only connection is USB 2.0.

Of course most days you might only be looking to move a few gigabytes – backing up a DVD or shuffling around your music collection, for instance – but a chance to shave minutes off even these tasks is always welcome. Which is why super-fast USB 3.0 is such a great idea.

It’s well-suited to portable drives. Unlike many eSATA connections, USB 3.0 is hot-swappable, and provides power to the drive so no fiddling with external power is required. And in terms of performance, its speed is theoretically faster than even the SATA 3Gbps connection used for most PC’s internal hard disks.

The ADATA Nobility NH01 is one of the new breed of external USB 3.0 hard drives, based on a 2.5in notebook drive, neatly encased in a smart black case.

The top is actually more like a mirror, a reflected dark glass-like panel set off nicely by the company logo and model name in a rainbow badge that changes colour viewed from different angles. The ADATA Nobility NH01 case is smooth and shiny, with a ridge around the edge that aids grip a little.

The only relief from the overall dark gloss attire is a USB 3.0 port on the rear. We wired it up to our test-bench PC to measure that vaunted high-speed connection.

What we saw essentially was the maximum performance of the internal 640GB hard disk, running at a typical notebook speed of 5400rpm, and freed from the bottleneck of the USB 2.0 bus.

From CrystalDiskMark we saw sequential read and write speeds of 94MBps, and the same speed with the ATTO Bench 32 benchmark test when using 8192KB data. Down at the 4KB level, the ADATA Nobility NH01 was still transferring at a healthy 42MBps.

NEXT PAGE: Our expert verdict >>

Group test: what's the best portable hard drive?

ADATA NH01 Nobility Expert Verdict »

640GB portable hard drive
2.5in SATA 5400rpm HDD
USB 3.0 port
60cm USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 cable
133 x 82 x 16mm
204g
3-year warranty
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

As with similar desktop drives we’ve seen with USB 3.0, the ADATA Nobility NH01 is capable of staggeringly fast data transfers. Our only small quibble is the use of a 5400rpm drive here, when slightly faster 7200rpm drives could now be taken advantage more fully in an external case. That, and the current relative paucity of computers – especially laptops – that feature USB 3.0 connectors. But the ADATA Nobility NH01 is a great example of the benefit of using USB 3.0 for a portable hard drive.

  • A-DATA ADATA Superior SH93 review

    A-DATA ADATA Superior SH93

    The ADATA Superior SH93 is one tough USB hard drive, promising to be both shock- and water-resistant. But how will it stand up to the PC Advisor lab tests?

  • A-DATA S599 64GB review

    A-DATA S599 64GB

    The A-DATA S599 is a solid-state drive with the older SATA 3 Gbps interface, available in capacities from 40GB to 256GB.

  • Buffalo DriveStation HD-HXU3 review

    Buffalo DriveStation HD-HXU3

    After a long wait, we're now starting to see real USB 3.0 products in the wild, like this Buffalo DriveStation HD-HXU3 1TB USB 3.0 hard drive. It's not a moment too soon.

  • Iomega eGo Portable 500GB USB 3.0 review

    Iomega eGo Portable 500GB USB 3.0

    The Iomega eGo Portable external hard drive has a capacity of 500GB and a USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed USB) interface. It's a decent drive for storing and transferring large files to a USB 3.0-equipped laptop or desktop PC.

  • ioSafe Rugged Portable hard drive review

    ioSafe Rugged Portable hard drive

    ioSafe's Rugged Portable sacrifices a bit of bulk and weight to add some serious protection to a fast USB 3.0 hard drive.


IDG UK Sites

Nexus 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 comparison: Lollipop phablet takes on KitKat flagship smartphone

IDG UK Sites

Why people aren't upgrading to iOS 8: new features are for power users, not the average Joe

IDG UK Sites

Free rocket & space sounds: NASA launches archive of interstellar audio on SoundCloud

IDG UK Sites

iPad Air 2 review: Insanely fast and alarmingly thin. Speed tests, camera tests, beautiful...