Iomega introduced its novel eGo external USB hard drive last year, and has since expanded it into a range with several related versions.
The Iomega eGo BlackBelt uses the same case as the standard Iomega eGo, and adds a heavy-duty rubber harness - a Power Grip band no less - to protect the most vulnerable parts of the drive, namely the top and bottom surfaces, and the corners.
This drive, as with all Iomega eGos, features Iomega's DropGuard technology, said to protect the drive in the toughest travel environments. This comprises an inner padded layer to help cushion the bare hard disk within the outer case.
The Iomega eGo BlackBelt case itself take's the now-classic hipflask form, constructed from extruded aluminium with chrome-effect caps on each end. On the rear of the Iomega eGo BlackBelt sit two ports - one USB 2.0 and an additional 5V DC input, the latter only required in the event that a PC or laptop's USB port is underpowered and cannot spin up the drive.
Inside the Iomega eGo BlackBelt is a Seagate ST925082 hard disk, a 250GB nominal capacity 5400rpm SATA drive. Other drives in the Iomega eGo range are available in capacities up to 500GB, but the Iomega eGo BlackBelt version only comes in 250GB form.
In our tests with HDTach in Windows Vista, we recorded read speeds of 26MB/s and write speeds of 19.8MB/s. Random access of the Iomega eGo BlackBelt was in the order of 16ms, all suggesting this drive's performance was in line with a typical USB external drive.
The Iomega eGo BlackBelt is barely audible in use and only got slightly warm after extended and intensive write actions.
The sleek elegant impact of the original eGo shape may be reduced somewhat by the near-fetish rubber dressing. But the cheesily named Power Grip ought to keep the hard drive protected from scratches on the outside, while DropGuard provides an extra layer of cushioning for the delicate data within.