Verbatim and Freecom are part of the same group of companies, but Verbatim generally seems to focus on the more affordable end of the market. Consequently, its 500GB Store ‘n Go drive lacks the eye-catching slimline design of the Freecom Sq drive and opts for a more conventional rectangular design that comes in at a very reasonable £79.99 for the 500GB model that we tested.
Even so, it’s still quite slim and neatly designed, and its 150g weight makes it the lightest drive in this group. It’s also available in a wide range of colours to suit your personal taste. We weren’t surprised to see that it also has the same set of bundled software, with Nero back-up software, the energy-saving ‘green button’, and formatting utility.
The drive’s performance proved to be a little erratic, though. The overall sequential speed was good, at 110.50MBps for reading files and 109.40MBps for writing. However its performance with smaller files varied dramatically – we got a relatively strong 39.16MBps when reading small files but a mere 14.82MBps for write speeds. That could be a problem if you’re regularly backing up lots of small files.
Important hard drive news:
One point to note is that the hard disk prices are going up and down like a yo-yo at the moment. The floods that hit Thailand this autumn are to blame – hard disk production was down by more than 50 percent in October. Most of the main hard disk manufacturers have factories in Thailand and one manufacturer taking part in this group test told us that its entire production line “is under water”.
Scarcity of supply inevitably means that prices will rise. The prices we quote in this review were current as we went to press, but more than ever we’d advise you to shop around and see what prices you can find online. Still, acts of nature aside, people are always going to need external drives to back up their important files and delaying a purchase now could cost you dearly if your PC encounters a natural disaster of its own while you’re waiting for prices to come back down.