Well, curl our hair and call us Harpo! For the first time in a long and often trying decade of reviewing Nero products, we can finally tout one, Nero BackItUp & Burn, as easy to use. Not only is Nero BackItUp & Burn concisely and logically laid out, but it has every main feature you could ask for: plain file backup, whole-drive and partition imaging, syncing, scheduling and even automatic backup, mirroring one volume to another.
Priced from £29 for the download version (£39 boxed), Nero BackItUp & Burn isn't best of breed at any particular backup task, but it's good at all of them and it performed nearly perfectly in our tests.
The only bump in the road was a warning from Nero BackItUp & Burn that the Windows OS partition we were attempting to create an image of wasn't locked.
Regardless, the imaging process proceeded without incident, though we wish that Nero BackItUp & Burn had given us the option to consolidate the backup into one file instead of splitting it into 2GB parts. On the other hand, 2GB files are perfect for DVD, and the program takes advantage of Nero's optical expertise with support for DVD-R/RW as well as CD-R/RW and BD-R/RE.
Our main gripe about Nero BackItUp & Burn involves its hefty 304MB footprint, which is due in large part to the included CD recovery image (and the included Nero Express, Nero BurnRights, and Nero RescueAgent), but also in part to its requiring - and installing - Microsoft Installer 4.5, .Net 3.5, Microsoft Visual Studio redistributable, and Microsoft Primary Interoperability Assemblies 2005 (if you don't have them installed already).
And another caveat: Don't blindly click through when installing unless you really want the Ask toolbar and a new home page (Ask.com).
Nero BackItUp & Burn is an excellent, feature-rich application that competes well with middle-tier backup products such as NTI's Backup Now, Paragon Drive Backup Personal, and Titan Backup. And let's hope that it's a harbinger of a new Nero focus on the end-user experience.