Iomega has forsaken the metal hipflask idea for a more plastic-like design with its latest eGo external hard drive. Like the original eGo, Iomega makes a few different options available, not just in capacity but colour too.
The red, silver and blue variants come in 320GB or 500GB sizes, while the black one we tried, the Iomega eGo BlackBelt, is 500GB only. All feature a single mini-USB socket on the back, with a bright blue LED alongside it to show operation.
If you need a faster FireWire connection, the company has kept one of the hipflask eGos in red finish in the lineup, in 250GB, 320GB or 500GB sizes
The new style casing is still mostly aluminium and feels sturdy, with no visible sign of entry. As added protection, the black model includes a removable ‘BlackBelt' rubber harness to safeguard the corners and top and bottom surfaces from bumps and scratches.
Inside our Iomega eGo BlackBelt sample was a Seagate Momentus 2.5in notebook drive, a 5400rpm hard disk with 8MB cache. In basic speed tests with HDTach, we found it could average 28.9MB/s for disk reading, and 21.9MB/s when writing.
In burst tests, the Iomega eGo BlackBelt could hit 33.2MB/s, equivalent to around 265 megabits per second. Random access time was 19ms, and along with the read/write results, we'd conclude the Iomega eGo BlackBelt was slightly above average for most USB attached hard drives; and is slightly faster than its predecessor.
There's no software included on the disk but Iomega offers its Protection Suite for free download.
The Iomega eGo BlackBelt has increased in size and speed in its new incarnation, as well as dropping in price. It may have abandoned the classic metal hipflask extrusion, but the new eGo design still feels like it could stand a few knocks, aided by the rubber band that encircles it.