This external usb drive is very elegant to look at. A relatively unit with a matt metallic top and bottom surface with a black plastic edging. It looks rugged and although not ruggedized did hold up to a few knocks with ease. The only thing we felt was a little flimsy was the proprietary USB cable. I am assuming they were forced to go with quite a thin connector due to the thickness of the case but this did look a little vulnerable to knocks and might be difficult to replace.
The drive comes pre-formatted for use on a Mac and is time machine compatible. For the purpose of this review we were trying the unit with Windows PCs and this meant reformatting the drive which is not really a chore and showed off the performance of the drive. The spec claims this to be a 5400RPM drive but it was surprisingly quick and this may have something to do with the 8MB cache.
This is a USB3.0 device and we were able to get access speeds in the range of 130Mbps which is pretty good.
It appears to use a HGST Travelstar 5K1000 2.5″ HDD 5400RPM with 2x500GB platters, SATA III and 8MB cache under the skin which is a pretty nice and generally reliable drive. I would be much happier with this than some of the cheaper Western Digital or Seagate drives.
In practical use it worked well and relevantly to this site was excellent for playing media files. Indeed streaming movies from this over USB3 was a revelation with no stuttering even in Full HD with True-HD audio.
USB 2 performance was reasonably good but as you would expect it really needs USB3 to shine.
A well built external drive that performs well and has good reliability. For Mac users the addition of time machine compatibility is a real bonus. Well worth considering if you can find it at a reasonable price.