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Iomega 250GB hard drive review

Choose your port and fasten your seatbelt

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Our Verdict

Not everyone's idea of a good-looking drive but offers great speeds and a choice of three interfaces

For

  • Reasonably quiet

Against

  • Bizarre on/off switch

Perhaps not quite as pretty a product as we've come to expect from Iomega, the new triple interface 250GB external hard drive is a very capable performer. The casing will appeal to some people, but it's rather boxy, somewhat retrolooking, and about the size of the average paperback novel.

Black ribbing down each side of the case offsets the drive's shiny charcoal-grey top.

A blue LED, positioned two thirds of the way down the right-hand side of the case top, indicates power and disk activity.

Next to the LED is a small and quiet fan that keeps the case temperature down to reasonable levels. If Iomega's hard drives have put you off in the past with their rather loud cooling mechanism, then be assured that this latest generation is much quieter.

At the rear of the drive are three interfaces: USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and FireWire 800. There are two FireWire 800 ports for daisychaining the drive, but only one FireWire 400 port. If you don't have a FireWire 800 port on your Mac, then this drive will have to be placed at the end of your daisychain of FireWire 400 devices.

The only other notable features on the drive are a slightly eccentric on/off switch that has a tendency to stick a little, and a slot for a Kensington lock that can secure the drive to a desk in order to ward off lightfingered types.

In use, the Iomega 250GB hard drive is zippy and appears to read and write at similar speeds. We tested the drive by copying from Tiger's Finder and using the FireWire 800 port. If you don't own a PowerBook or a Power Mac G5, then the FireWire 400 is your next best choice, although our 1.13GB test folder took another 20 seconds to copy via the slower interface - almost twice as long.