A good portable USB3 disk for novices, but demanding users should look elsewhere
1TB hard disk, USB3, 16x85x120
The HP SimpleSave 1TB p2100s is a portable USB3 hard disk ostensibly manufactured by HP, but which is actually made by PNY and sold under HP’s name. PNY is better known for its graphics cards and USB flash drives, and is the latest manufacturer, following Western Digital, to take on HP’s hard disk line.
This outsourcing hasn’t compromised build quality, though. The p2100s has a brushed metal enclosure that feels very well-made and robust. It’s slightly wider and taller than some other portable disks, but it’ll still easily fit in your pocket or slip into a bag. It’s also available in a variety of colours, as well as a cheaper 500GB model. No accessories are supplied beyond the included micro USB3 cable. The 1TB disk used is the Toshiba MQ01ABD100, a 2.5in 5,400rpm SATA2 model with a 8MB cache.
It sped through our tests when copying large files, writing them at 94.2MB/s and reading them at 104.3MB/s. Its performance was less impressive when copying small files, writing them at 17.9MB/s and reading them at 15.7MB/s. We’ve seen faster small file performance from other portable USB3 disks, such as the Western Digital My Passport Ultra 1TB (http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/external-hard-drives/1300513/western-digital-my-passport-ultra-1tb).
The SimpleSave backup software comes preloaded on the disk itself. Plus, it’ll run from your hard disk rather than your PC. Once you’ve chosen which files you want to back up, either by file type or by picking specific folders, the program will back up your files whenever it’s opened. Conveniently, it’ll only copy only those files that have changed since your last backup, saving time. The program doesn’t support scheduled backups, but it will back up your files automatically if your computer is idle for five minutes or more.
However it’s not as convenient as previous versions of the SimpleSave software, which automatically backed up whenever the disk was plugged in. This older method is not only much more convenient for laptops, which won’t always be connected to an external hard disk, but also for people who keep forgetting to back up or never do it.
The HP SimpleSave 1TB p2100s has a low cost per gigabyte of just 7p. It’s a good portable USB3 hard disk for users who aren’t fussed about performance and want a quick and easy way to back up. However, the SimpleSave software’s way of backing up won’t suit everyone and demanding users will be put off by the sluggish small file performance. They should opt instead for the Western Digital My Passport Ultra 1TB, a similarly priced USB3 portable disk with far faster small files performance.
|Hard disk||Toshiba MQ01ABD100|
|Price per gigabyte||£0.07|
|Power connector||USB from host|
|Power consumption idle||N/A|
|Power consumption active||N/A|
|Backup software included||HP SimpleSave Backup 184.108.40.206|
|Warranty||two years RTB|