capsule review

Lenovo ThinkPad USB Secure Hard Drive

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At a Glance
  • Lenovo USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive

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


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


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