The portability on portable external hard drives is questionable. I’ve already gone through three 500GB drives in a little under a year. The backup drives are failing faster than the main internal drives.
That’s when this Other World Computing Mercury On-The-Go crossed the desk of the Blast Newsroom. It’s a 500GB Seagate Momentus 7200RPM drive paired with a casing designed to displace heat.
Still don’t recommend throwing it against a brick wall.
The Mercury On-The-Go’s first characteristic is that it’s dead silent. It makes almost no noise whatsoever.
Second, there’s an aluminum heatsink running through the length of the drive with vents allowing hot air to pass through. There are no fans, but this passive cooling outfit does keep things running smoothly. Even after a half hour of benchmarking over and over, the heatsink was lukewarm and the hard drive was running steadily fast.
How steadily fast? About 32MB/s. in USB mode, which is comparable to other drives we’ve tested. It’s not even half as fast as a good internal desktop hard drive, but it’s fast enough for bulk storage, backup, music, non HD movies and all your photos.
The triple interface — FireWire 400/800 and USB 2.0 — is a nice touch. USB is still the easiest way to go for most people, however, so that’s what we benchmark at. FireWire can be much faster, however, and the manufacturer boasts about 150MB/s speeds that we don’t think you’ll ever see unless you strip down your computer and don’t run any other applications while accessing your hard drive.
The drive is also OSX Leopard Time Machine ready, so you have that bell or whistle.
Overall, the Mercury is an excellent drive that’s fast and durable. It’s an ideal storage upgrade situation.
The only x-factor is the cost, which will run you upwards of $200, when you can buy a 500GB drive for much less nowadays.
By the way: Because of incorrect information provided to Blast, we reported that an eSATA version was available, but that product has been canceled and is not available.