Hitachi SimpleTOUGH (500GB) external hard drive
A ruggedised Hitachi external hard drive for road warriors
- Reasonable cost per formatted gigabyte, embedded USB cable, rugged enclosure
- No optimised USB drivers, isn't bundled with a DC power adapter
The Hitachi SimpleTOUGH external hard drive's rugged enclosure and embedded USB 2.0 cable make it a good option for carting around data, though style-conscious road warriors may want to look elsewhere.
Price$ 179.00 (AUD)
The Hitachi SimpleTOUGH external hard drive's rugged enclosure and embedded USB cable make it a great companion for road warriors. If you plan to knock your hard drive about during travel, this would be a good choice.
There are no shortage of ruggedised hard drives — LaCie’s Starck Mobile Hard Drive can be run over by a car without worries, and its Rugged All-Terrain Hard Disk will certainly survive knocks and bumps. Transcend’s StoreJet 25M-R even claims to withstand US military drop-test standards.
There isn’t much to differentiate Hitachi’s offering from other rugged drives, though at least it doesn’t look quite as brick-like as the alternatives. Available in red, blue and “carbon fibre” colour schemes, the enclosure is made of a hardened plastic and flanked on both sides by rubber strips. This makes for a slightly curved shape, ensuring the hard drives always lands or rolls onto its front or back for best protection.
The USB 2.0 cable has been embedded directly into the hard drive so it never gets lost. It’s not quite sealed when inserted back into the drive, however, so we doubt it’s fully protected against contact with liquid. Like the Hitachi SimpleDRIVE Mini, the SimpleTOUGH has a DC port for computers that don’t provide enough power to the drive over USB. Because Hitachi doesn’t bundle the adapter with the drive, this inclusion is largely useless.
The Hitachi SimpleTOUGH external hard drive is preformatted with the FAT32 file system, so it’s compatible with both Macs and PCs. If you need to transfer files greater than 4GB in size, Hitachi provides instructions on formatting the hard drive to suit either operating system. Any software on the drive that isn’t backed up will be lost during the format.
Arcsoft's bundled TotalMedia Backup software is easy to use and has plenty of options.
The Mac/PC compatible Hitachi Local Backup software bundled on the SimpleTOUGH is actually Acronis TotalMedia Backup, which is easy to use and provides comprehensive backup and synchronisation options. Backups can be scheduled or initiated based on folders or file types, with presets for regularly used file formats. Unlike the WD SmartWare software that accompanies Western Digital's My Passport SE, advanced users will be able to add their own file formats to be backed up.
|Small File (3GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Hitachi SimpleDRIVE Mini||$109||320GB||26.1||17.5||11|
|LaCie Rikiki (USB Boost enabled)||$159||500GB||30.9||17.2||11.1|
|LaCie Starck Mobile Hard Drive||$139||320GB||24.5||17.1||11.1|
|Astone ISO GEAR 290||$149||500GB||20.5||13.5||9.7|
|HP SimpleSave Portable||$139||320GB||20.4||12.6||8.2|
|Transcend StoreJet 25M-R||$159.95||320GB||23.8||15.3||7.2|
|Western Digital My Passport SE||$379||1TB||26.7||11.7||7.6|
|Large File (20GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Hitachi SimpleDRIVE Mini||$109||320GB||28.9||23.8||12.7|
|LaCie Rikiki (USB Boost enabled)||$159||500GB||37.7||26.7||13.3|
|LaCie Starck Mobile Hard Drive||$139||320GB||27.4||25.9||12.7|
|Astone ISO GEAR 290||$149||500GB||28.7||25.2||11.5|
|HP SimpleSave Portable||$139||320GB||27.9||25.1||11.6|
|Transcend StoreJet 25M-R||$159.95||320GB||28.5||24.3||11.9|
|Western Digital My Passport SE||$379||1TB||31.4||24.8||11.2|
The file transfer results were unsurprisingly identical to the Hitachi SimpleDRIVE Mini's — good but not fantastic. Of course, you can only expect a certain level of performance from a 2.5in hard drive running over a USB 2.0 connection, especially without optimised drivers.
The SimpleTOUGH has a relatively low cost per formatted gigabyte of 38.5c. By contrast the 320GB SimpleDRIVE Mini costs 34.1c while the LaCie Rikiki external hard drive has the lowest cost we have found of just 31.8c per GB.
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Prices of SSDs and DRAM will crash in 2019, Gartner predicts
- Pure adds more NVMe with an eye to the next storage speed bump
- What one company learned from testing Intel's superfast Optane SSDs
- New, colourful LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C was designed by Neil Poulton
- Western Digital begins production of the world's tallest 3D NAND 'skyscraper'
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSystem AnalystsACT
- PTProject ManagerNSW
- TPAgile Project Manager. Lean ProductivityNSW
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- FTRisk and Quality ManagerNSW
- FTSystems EngineerNSW
- FTOperations OrchestrationVIC
- FTWeb Developer | Parramatta | Initial 6 month contractNSW
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- TPPMO LeadNSW
- FTDeveloper / Junior Solution DesignerQLD
- FTProject Engineer - Newcastle BasedNSW
- FTDrupal DeveloperNSW
- CCTechnical Business AnalystSA
- FTSenior Wintel EngineerNSW
- CCSoftware Licencing SpecialistNSW
- FTCitrix Engineer/Designer - AWS experience essentialNSW
- CCPersonal AssistantNSW
- TPTechnical Support Officer (Unix/Linux, Windows and Mac)VIC
- FTVDI EngineerACT
- CCNetwork Architect - SecurityVIC
- TPSenior Project Manager - Life InsuranceNSW
- FTSecurity Consultant -10056987-001VIC