At a Glance
The Good: stylish, USB 3.0
The Bad: a few bucks more gets you much more security
Portable and external hard drives are often pretty dull looking. Like the early computers, they can be purchased as boring, black rectangular boxes that do nothing to spice up your desk. ADATA takes the opposite view with its HV610 drive, which sports interlocking puzzle pieces etched into the top and bottom of the drive. The drives come in black or white, and the pieces of the white one alternate between a glossy and a matte finish.
The drives also come with what the company calls a "smart cover." The white 500GB review unit that I tested came with a blue cover that is about half the size of the drive and is designed to hold the thick white cord in place so it can be used like a handle. The wrap-around cord design is very similar to the one found on the HD710, except the cord for that drive could rest flush with the edge of the drive. The cord for the HV610 instead makes it seem like a little purse.
Without the cover, the drive measures about 4.5 inches long by 3 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick. The slip-on smart cover adds another half inch to the width, so it's still slightly smaller than the HD710 and still plenty portable. It also has a small blue indicator light on the base of the drive that glows during data transfers.
One of the best features about the HV610 is that is has USB 3.0 capabilities, which is really becoming much more the norm in portable and external storage. This is with good reason now that new desktop, laptop and ultraportable computers are typically including at least one USB 3.0-capable port.
The differences in the USB 3.0 and 2.0 speeds can be staggering -- the top speed for USB 3.0 is listed as 4.8Gbps while the top speed for 2.0 is 480Mbps. While these figures are recorded in perfect conditions and should not be expected for everyday users, the actual differences are still astoundingly noticeable. If you back up a lot of movies, you will most definitely pick up on the difference and save yourself some time.
If you haven't upgraded to USB 3.0, the HV610 is still backward compatible with 2.0, so it will be ready for you when you finally do.
Bells and Whistles
In terms of bells and whistles included with the drive; what you see is pretty much what you get. ADATA says that the drives are eligible for a 60-day trial version of Norton Internet Security 2012 anti-virus software as well as a three-year warranty. You can also download HDDtoGo software from the company, which is said to permit such features as AES encryption and no-trace browsing. I did not test this software.
The Bottom Line
This is a pretty drive, no doubt. And if you're looking for style, it may be right up your alley. But for just a few dollars more, you can get the added security of the waterproof and shockproof HD710, and when it comes to backing up, isn't that what it's really all about?