The design and functionality of the HandyDrive external hard drive are as basic as they come -- you don't get extra features like a ruggedised chassis or automatic data backups -- but Fujitsu has put extra effort into offering quick data transfers. With a greater focus on utility than extra features, the HandyDrive should suit casual users who simply need more storage space than an internal disk can offer.
Fujitsu offers the HandyDrive in 250GB (£45), 320GB (£55), 400GB (£60) and 500GB (£70) capacities.
Design and features
The HandyDrive should consider itself lucky that it achieved fast benchmark scores, because it certainly couldn't get by on looks alone, with its bland design and unfortunate lack of colour options. The HandyDrive closely resembles the Seagate FreeAgent Go in size and shape, with a downturned curve toward the base. The device is of average size for an external hard drive, measuring 81mm by 142mm by 22mm.
Inside, the 2.5-inch hard-disk drive is encased by a shiny black plastic enclosure that protects it from impact using a 'shock-endurance mechanism'. Be forewarned that its skin isn't nearly as tough as that of the Iomega eGo Camo, for example, but the outer layer of plastic certainly feels durable enough to withstand a short drop or the random bumps that occur during day-to-day transportation. At the same time, we don't recommend intentionally abusing it to test this theory.
The HandyDrive uses a USB 2.0 interface to connect to your computer and power itself. In the event that your laptop doesn't provide enough juice to the USB bus, the top of the drive also features a port for mains power, although no plug is included in the package.
The drive does, however, come bundled with the full versions of several software programs that make it easier to organise, back up and password-protect your data. Most notable is Acronis True Image Personal HDD, which lets you create mirrored images of your data and copy it to several computers at once. We played around with scheduled backups and the easy-setup tool and found the processes involved simple and intuitive. We especially like the clever 'secure zone' feature that hides images on the disk for restoring sensitive data.
The HandyDrive transferred our 10GB of data back and forth almost as quickly as the Transcend StoreJet 25 mobile. The read times are almost identical, at 27.94MBps for the HandyDrive and 27.52MBps for the 25 mobile, and the write times differ only by about 2MBps, as you can see in the chart below. With such a small discrepancy between the two hard drives, you're not going to notice a drastic difference.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Read (MBps)||Write (MBps)|
The Fujitsu HandyDrive isn't the most beautiful external hard drive we've ever seen, but it's inexpensive and transfers data quickly. It's a good piece of kit.
Additional editing by Charles Kloet