capsule review

Lenovo ThinkPad USB Secure Hard Drive

At a Glance
  • Lenovo USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive

    PCWorld Rating

    This cool, capable data-sharing device will appeal to business users and techies alike.

Recently we tested eight encrypted portable drives, all of which are capable of keeping your data private. Some, however, are dependent on a Windows tool for log-in and setup.

In contrast, Lenovo's cryptodrive ($220 for 320GB)--like the Data Locker Pro AES Edition, which we also considered--takes advantage of a numeric keypad on the drive housing, so it can work with multiple operating systems. Interestingly, this drive's housing more closely resembles a burglar-alarm panel. Pressing and holding numerical combinations allows you to change the password or modify other settings, without having to run software. This model produces no sound when you press a key, which is better than the obnoxiously loud Data Locker--but unlike that competing product, it offers no visual feedback that you have pressed a key, either.

The drive demands a lot of power to do its thing, so the box includes a second cable that you're supposed to plug into a second, free USB port and then feed into the drive's power port.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This cool, capable data-sharing device will appeal to business users and techies alike.

    Pros

    • Platform-agnostic drive
    • Numeric keypad is easy to use and looks good

    Cons

    • Reprogramming the password can be difficult
    • Requires use of a second USB port for power
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