Is it just me or is most tech nowadays quite delicate? I know everyone likes to take care of their belongings, but whether it’s phones, cameras, tablets or portable hard drives, a relatively short drop onto a hard floor can leave you with a hefty repair bill or in the case of a hard drive, a total loss of data. A phone screen can be repaired or replaced but if a drive gets damaged, sometimes there is no way at all to get your data back.
There are plenty of portable USB 3.0 external drives out there in the world but most suffer the same issue – they aren’t particularly tough. I’m not just talking about surviving a drop – most electricals don’t like dust or water either. ADATA’s HD700 is designed to withstand both.
ADATA has been producing computer components since 2001 in the form of DRAM modules, memory cards and hard drives. The HD700 is their entry-level storage device. It’s available in two capacities (1 or 2 TB) and two different colours (black or blue). The 1 TB version I’m reviewing here retails at around £70/$110. Using a standard USB 3.0 connection, it is of course fully compatible with MacOS, Windows and Android devices.
I’m not sure the packaging on an external hard drive can be particularly exciting but it does tell you everything you need to know and the reassurance of the HD700’s 3 year warranty is a boon, especially as most hard drives only offer a single year’s protection.
The device is IP56 rated, so it’s both water and dust proof. While this drive shouldn’t be submerged in water, the rating gives confidence that the drive won’t be harmed by a high pressure water spray or all but the finest of dust particles. The ADATA HD700 drive doesn’t purport to be indestructible, but it does offer the reassurance of being free to use your drive wherever it’s needed without worrying about its vulnerabilities.
The drive itself is surrounded by cushioning and then encased in a plastic enclosure. On top is a removable silicon rubber case providing even more protection. The case has a thick rubber flap on the base which fits snugly into the USB port on the drive ensuring it’s safe from the elements when not in use. While some external drives benefit from handling with kid gloves, this is not a requirement here.There is a small light on the bottom of the front of the drive and this serves multiple functions. In general use, the light will glow blue indicating the drive is powered on and when data is being transferred the light will flash blue. If the built-in G Shock sensor is triggered, it will be indicated with a flashing red light on startup…the light will revert to blue once normal operation resumes.
While a layer of protection is important, if the drive doesn’t perform well in use its other benefits can be cancelled out. I’m happy to say that is definitely not the case here. Transfer speeds maxed out at around 105 MB/s second which matches any other mechanical drive I have ever used. I have only ever seen this speed bettered by portable SSDs, so the HD700 is definitely no slouch.
As a commercial drone pilot, I am often out in the field shooting photos or video and the ability to save important media to a drive such as this definitely gives peace of mind. It also means I don’t have to worry about the drive getting knocked about within my drone case or bag. While we always try to look after our gadgets, sometimes accidents do happen. The outer silicon case means that it’s easier to keep a tight grip on the drive, so there’s less chance of a drop.
The added protection of the HD700 drive certainly won’t be needed by all and there are cheaper drives out there that will do a fine job for most. However, if you regularly work outdoors, or on the move then consider this the equivalent of having your hard drive in an Otterbox style phone case. As such, the ADATA HD700 does a great job of protecting your important data on the move.