Verbatim 1TB Professional Hard Drive

Verbatim's 1TB Professional Quad-Interface Desktop Hard Drive is a speedy, chic, high-end desktop drive with an affordable price tag. The versatile Verbatim drive offers eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB 2.0 connections to give users flexibility, and the 1TB storage capacity is perfect for consumers with demanding storage needs.

The unusually shaped drive rests comfortably in its own stand and has a taller, thinner profile than comparable drives. Its weight (over 3 pounds) and unconventional shape ensure it will be relegated to your desk rather than carried around in a bag.

The lack of a fan helps the drive runs quietly. In our lab tests, the drive was warm (but not hot) to the touch; the enclosure doesn't act like a heat sink as much as the casings of other competing drives. Instead, cool air is drawn in at the base of the drive and forced over the mechanism to dissipate heat.

Verbatim's use of a universal three-pronged power cord (like the kind used with an iMac) makes replacing it a simple matter if the cord is lost or stolen. Many competing drives use power bricks designed for the specific drive, so it's nice that for the Verbatim, you don't have to hunt around among your cables for a specialized cord. Any standard power cord will work to power the drive.

The drive comes packaged with Nero BackItUp 4 Essentials software that allows you to automatically back up your data online--if you are running Windows, since the software is Windows only. The drive does works with Time Machine.

The 1TB capacity is ideal for audio-visual professionals or other users who need the extra storage capacity for large collections of media. At $.24 per gigabyte, the Verbatim's storage is slightly cheaper than in other competing desktop drives.

Of course, one of the most important elements of an external drive is its speed. The Verbatim uses a 7,200-rpm drive mechanism, and our Macworld Lab tests reveal it to be one of the fastest desktop drives we've seen. In our 1GB copy test, the Verbatim Drive finished on par with our top triple-interface desktop drive, Seagate's FreeAgent Desk for Mac ( Macworld rated 4 out of 5 mice ). When using FireWire 800, both drives finished the 1GB test at 36 seconds exactly. With its eSATA connection, the Verbatim finished the copy test in 33 seconds, besting not only other desktop drives we've tested but also portable drives tested using eSATA connections.

The Verbatim's duplication tests were even more impressive. The drive finished our duplication test in 34 seconds while using its eSATA connection and 45 seconds (3 seconds faster than the FreeAgent Desk) with its FireWire 800 connection. The duplication test results were equally superior to the FreeAgent Desk when using the FireWire 400 and USB connections.

Our low-memory Photoshop tests are designed to test both read and write speeds of a drive. When using its FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB 2.0 connections, the Verbatim routinely was slightly slower than the FreeAgent Desk by 1 or 2 seconds. However, the Verbatim once again posted the best time of the two when using its eSATA connection, finishing at 1 minute, 10 seconds. Compared with other desktop drives, the Verbatim produced some of the fastest times we've seen in our Photoshop tests while using its two fastest connection types: eSATA (1:10) and FireWire 800 (1:16). The FreeAgent Desk is comparably speedy, but the additional speed offered by eSATA makes the Verbatim an overall faster drive.

Macworld's buying advice

The 1TB Professional Quad-Interface Desktop Hard Drive is a fast, large-capacity, versatile drive. Keeping pace with our previous top products with its speedy eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB connections, the Verbatim is ideal for professionals who need to quickly back up large amounts of data like music, video, and photo files.

[Chris Holt is an assistant editor for Macworld.]

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