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Great tool for traveling, 2013-07-19
I bought two of these drives. (More accurately, my employer bought one, and I bought one for a backup).
I was heading to China for three weeks to shoot a documentary project. My Nikon D800 fills up hard drives with a vengeance. I know I'd be shooting about 30 gigs of photos a day (plus a few 1080p videos).
Knowing the hazards of international travel, I thought these drives would be an great solution, being rugged as well as being bus-powered by the Thunderbolt and USB 3 ports. Unfortunately, my 2011 MacBook Pro only has USB 2.0 ports in addition to the Thunderbolt.
That's important because it made me change my workflow. I have a Firewire 800 CF card reader (and a USB 3.0 CF/SD card reader for backup). So it's quite fast downloading from my 1000x speed CF cards. I used Lightroom 4 with the library on my laptop and the files going directly to one of the drives via Thunderbolt. Very fast, limited only by the Firewire 800 interface. But when I tried to have Lightroom write a second copy of the files to the other drive via USB 2.0, it bogged the system down. Turns out it was faster to download to the Thunderbolt drive, then copy the new folder to the other drive for backup.
Anyway, my point being is that the drives are lightning fast when used with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0, but it will slow you down if your computer doesn't support Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. It would not be worth it in that case. But if you have either one or both of those interfaces, these drives will speed up your workflow. And knowing they're built to withstand a five-foot drop made me happy to leave one in my suitcase and the other in my camera backpack I carried on the plane. Another security measure that made this $5K trip a bit less stressful. Though at one point I thought I had lost one of the drives, I was happy to know everything was in the drive I had with me.
The only real down-side of these drives is that there are not two Thunderbolt ports that would let you Daisy Chain them and make the dual backup process I mention be not only viable but super fast.
If you need a drive like this, you can't beat them for the price. They may not be the fastest, but they're fast enough, and they are tough as nails. And being orange, easy to spot in a pile of stuff.
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