First of all, this is a good general purpose hard drive. The specs from their website are:
- Slim and compact solution for USB 2.0 Interface
- High Speed USB 2.0 Backwards compatible with 1.1
- Higher Performance Transfers up 480 Mbps
- Plug and Play / Easy to use
- Share any data, image, MP3, MP4, video and more
- Supports PC (Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista), MAC (MAC OS8.6 or above) and Linux
- Active LED Power Indicator
- Aluminum Case for light weight and durability
- Powered from the USB Bus at 5v
- 3 year warranty
- Package includes drive, protective sleeve, dual cable, and mini-CD. Instructions are printed on the packaging
- Size: 3.0″ x 4.7″ x 0.35″
It is available in 160-500Gb sizes (I was sent a 250Gb to trial). Like most USB drives, the controls could not be simpler- the front panel has a mini-USB jack and a bright blue LED.
When I plugged it into my HP Mini with XP Home Edition, it loaded right away without the need for additional software. The information moved at a nice clip. I have no doubt that the 480Mbps claim is at least reasonably valid.
Because USB hard drives are so similar and there is not much of interest to write about them, I am going to compare the Cirago head to head with my trusty Aegis Apricorn A25 with 160Gb. What makes the Cirago special? Three things, really.
- Size: The Cirago CST-5000 is thin. It runs about half the thickness of the Aegis, even though it has twice the memory!
- Case: The Cirago is aluminum, the Aegis is plastic. This is even more remarkable when you see point #3.
- Price: Counter-intuitively, the Cirago is cheaper than the Aegis! In fact, the Amazon.com price of $81 for the 160Gb Aegis is higher than the Amazon.com pre-release price of $74 for the 320Gb Cirago!
In fact, the only things the Aegis does better are the cable and shock mounting. The Aegis uses a single attached and self-stored USB cable, while the Cirago uses a dual USB to mini-USB cable (the dual USB plugs help you power the drive on USB 1.0 systems). The Aegis has a 16 point shock mount, while the Cirago seems to depend on the toughness of the aluminum skin. I can vouch that the Aegis has never failed me even after being carried and dropped for nine months. Only time will tell if the brand new Cirago would do the same… but I am willing to bet it would.
A minor nit-pick on the Cirago: The claim of being the smallest USB drive on the market is sort of off-set by the need for a separate cable. On the other hand, it is pretty much a standard USB to Mini-USB cable, so you can use it or another one you already have for this and your Blackberry, camera, or other device. I love it when my toys share nicely!
Sleek, slim-line package; nice graphics; good speeds; aluminum house; nice price… a very nice package!