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Verbatim Insight 500GB review

Verbatim Insight 500GB
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £87
inc VAT

The electronic display is useful, but it doesn't justify this disk's high price.


hard disk, USB2, 14x85x151mm

Verbatim is better known for its range of blank optical discs than it is for hard disks, but the Insight 500GB is actually the latest in the company’s long line of portable disks. If you have more than a couple of external hard disks, figuring out what is on each one and how much storage space is available usually involves plugging each disk into your computer to find out. The Insight hopes to make this a lot easier with its small always-on electronic display that shows how much storage space is available and a label of your choosing.

Unlike other external disks with electronic displays, no special software is required – the label is based on the name you give the Insight on your desktop. The capacity gauge is automatically updated every time the Insight is plugged into or disconnected from a Windows XP PC or Mac. Unfortunately, the gauge is only updated on a Vista or Windows 7 computer when the Insight is connected but not when it’s unplugged. This means it could be wrong depending on what kind of computer you last plugged it into, adding unnecessary confusion to a feature which is supposed to make your life easier.

This is a shame as the Insight is an otherwise appealing portable USB disk. Its slender, glossy black appearance is attractive. It also fared well in our file transfer tests, performing in line with other USB2 portable disks. Large files were written at just over 28MB/s and read at 29.2MB/s. Small files were written at 19.6MB/s and read at just under 18MB/s.

The bundled backup software, NeroBackItUp, is one of the better utilities. It copies your files in the background automatically as you work, encrypting them if you desire, and can even back up to online storage sites and optical discs. The interface can be a struggle to use as there are lots of icons and far too many lengthy, jargon-filled dialog boxes, but it’s fine once you’re used to it.

The Insight’s foibles would be easier to bear if it was reasonably priced, but just under £90 or 17p per gigabyte it’s pricier than other USB2 disks and with little to show for it. Unless you can find it cheaper elsewhere or must have the always-on display, we can’t recommend it.

Basic Specifications

Rating **


Interface USB2
Weight 160g
Size 14x85x151mm

Buying Information

Price £87
Warranty two years

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