Tech Review: Iosafe Rugged Portable Hard Drive Can Take the Pain

by Joe Greek on June 3, 2011
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Have you ever been so frustrated with a tech gadget that the only solution to restore order to your universe would most likely violate the rules of conduct under the Geneva Convention? Unfortunately, the high cost of consumer electronics tend to prevent most people from unleashing their pent-up anger upon their gadgets. Now, however, there’s an external hard drive that is capable of withstanding the harshest of punishments, both natural and man-made.

With a casing built from a solid block of aluminum or titanium, the Iosafe Rugged Portable weighs in at only one pound, yet it can withstand up to 5,000 pounds of crushing pressure. The hard drive is also built to take on all that mother nature can throw its way, including spontaneous salt fog, freezing rain, or even a sandstorm, should you find yourself stranded in the middle of the Sahara desert.

More practically, though, the device can handle liquid disasters just like a submarine, surviving immersion under freshwater or saltwater up to 10 feet deep for 72 hours (see photo above; that’s the drive running happily submerged in a bowl of water). The Rugged Portable can also take a hard fall from the office window on the second floor while only sustaining a cosmetic scuffing to the armored metal exterior. The shock resistant design allows the hard drive to brush off sudden accidental jolts, such as falling off of a desk or being thrown at a brick wall.

Inside, the drive is supported on both Mac and Microsoft operating systems. Formatting the device to run on a MacBook Pro was quick and easy, requiring only a quick partition setup (included instructions are easy to follow). It supports both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connections, which is perfect for jumping between newer and older computer models. However, separate cords (included) need to be used for 2.0 and 3.0 plugs. Speed-wise, it took approximately 17 minutes to transfer 55 gigabytes of memory from my computer to the hard drive over a USB 2.0 connection.

While the Rugged Portable can withstand a barrage of shotgun fire like Superman, it’s not only the thinking of over-the-top ways to destroy it that sets the device apart from other on-the-go externals. Additionally, Iosafe provides customers with a hassle-free one-year warranty and additional coverage of up to $5,000 in data recovery costs.

Overall, the Rugged Portable is an ideal option for individuals that are frequently on the move or using technology outside of a traditional office setting. The pricing begins at $150 for the 250 GB model, which is somewhat high when you compare it to the plethora of flimsy 1 and 2 terabyte externals that are selling for 100 bucks. But if you have ever lost a hard drive with important data due to a freak accident or hardware failure, the Rugged Portable, designed like a bank vault and secured by the FDIC, is worth the initial investment.

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