Iomega Mac Companion Hard Drive 2TB review
2TB hard disk, USB2, FireWire 800, 45x148x197mm
Despite its name, the Iomega Mac Companion Hard Drive isn't limited to just Mac owners. The wedge-shaped Companion is designed to sit on an iMac's pedestal, but will connect to any computer with a USB2 or FireWire 800 port.
The Companion has a couple of unusual features for an external hard disk. It can double as a three-port USB2 hub - the USB port on the side can be used to charge a smartphone or tablet, including the iPad which requires more power than some USB ports can provide. You won't need to worry about noise if you're using the Companion to recharge your mobile overnight - it's virtually silent thanks to its fanless design, relying on its metal chassis to dissipate heat.
Unfortunately, if you want to use the USB hub you won't be able to take advantage of the Companion's faster FireWire 800 port. Over USB2, the Companion copied large files at an overall speed of 27.4MB/s. Small files were transferred at an overall speed of 12.2MB/s. Over FireWire 800, these speeds increased to 47MB/s and 31MB/s respectively.
It's a shame you have to choose between the Companion's fast FireWire 800 performance and its useful USB hub. It's no more expensive than most other 2TB FireWire 800 disks, but it does cost £80 more than 2TB USB3 disks which are even faster. Unless you just can't stand cable clutter on your desk or have a computer that can't be upgraded to USB3, the Companion is an oddly-designed luxury you can live without.