The Verbatim Portable Hard Drive USB packs a huge 500GB hard disk inside its modest proportions, in this case supplied by Samsung. Four other version are available at 120, 160, 250 and 320GB unformatted capacities. Unlike Fujitsu's offering, however, this Verbatim is conspicuously noisier in use and when idling on the desktop. Not loud, but certainly noticeable.

Verbatim has also chosen to house its drive in a plastic case, yet the 500GB Verbatim Portable Hard Drive feels, well, plasticky. Just picking it up, it feels creaky and hollow. Left untouched, its looks may win more favours in its sculpted finish, but whether it keeps its looks is another matter. There's no carry pouch of any description in the package, and the spray-on faux-metal finish will easily scratch off after coming into contact with everyday objects in the laptop case.

On the rear, where many such portable drives feature additional power inputs, the Verbatim Portable Hard Drive 500GB has but one port for its USB mini-B connector. This gives it cleaner lines, but users of PCs or laptops that don't provide full voltage through their USB ports may experience difficulties in getting this model running. In our tests, however, all three drives worked every time using just the power from one USB port of our test laptop.

In speed tests, it averaged 32.5MBps read time, and 20.4MBps write, on a par with the Fujitsu model we recently tested.


Its looks may appeal, but up close the Verbatim doesn't quite have the feel of quality we'd like to see. It's also a little noisier than the Fujitsu, but its lower price may appeal.