The drive measure 5.2 inches by 3.9 inches by 0.85 inch, and it weighs just less than half a pound. It’s a fairly slim drive with a soft-touch rubberized exterior that covers about 75 percent of the drive. The rest exposes the hard plastic that the company claims is shockproof and waterproof (more on that later). It comes in blue and black, yellow and black, or all black.
There is a blue LED indicator that illuminates when the drive is plugged into the computer and flashes when files are being transferred. The light is actually hidden beneath the plastic encasement, but it shines bright enough for you to see it through this.
Since this is a portable hard drive, and not an external one, it uses the computer as its power source. This means you won't have that cumbersome power cord to cart around. It also comes with a USB cable that’s designed to wrap around and tuck into the edge of the drive. This is a pretty neat idea because it’s one less cable you have to worry about getting tangled in a nest of wires.
The HD710 can be used with both USB 2.0- and 3.0-compatible computers. (What is USB 3.0? Read a handy FAQ about it here.)
The drives come in 500GB, 750GB and 1TB capacities. The size that you need will depend on the type of media that you are collecting. In general, it’s always better to go a little larger than you might think you need. It’s much cheaper to bump up to the next level than it is to purchase an additional drive down the road. And since this drive is USB 3.0 capable, you won’t need to upgrade for a long time.
For more on what to know when buying a portable hard drive, click here.
Show Me The Proof
ADATA says the DashDrive Durable HD710 is shockproof and waterproof, so naturally these needed to be tested. To test the shockproof capabilities, I dropped it from a height of about 6 feet onto a hardwood floor. When I plugged the drive in, my computer registered it immediately and my files were accessible. Of course, this is not exactly the same precision as when undergoing the Military MIL-STD-810G 516.5 drop test, as ADATA says the HD710 has, but I think it was still a good try. If nothing else, the drive would certainly survive a fall from your desk or kitchen countertop.
To test the waterproof promise, I did as I typically do for such things: I loaded it with priceless baby photos and dunked the drive in water. ADATA says it's waterproof in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. I put it in a plastic container with about 6 inches of water, so it was completely covered on all four sides, and left it in there for exactly 30 minutes. I then let it dry for about four hours before plugging it into my computer.
The result: It worked! Again! My computer recognized it immediately, the blue indicator light illuminated and flickered as it was supposed to, and I could access my un-damaged baby photos, just as promised.
The Bottom Line
The DashDrive Durable HD710 is a pleasing portable drive with a reasonable price point for what you get. Yes, you can buy drives that don’t cost as much and have the same capacities, but you’ll lose that ruggedness. Is this the ioSafe Solo Drive? Well, no. But it’s a bit easier on the wallet and a heck of a lot easier to carry around. It also gets major bonus points for its innovative wrap-around USB cord that has the potential to save you endless headaches. This would make a great option for travelers or someone who spends a lot of time around small children.