Astone ISO GEAR 288 (500GB) 2.5in external hard drive
A very stylish and quick external hard drive
- Attractive design, fast
- Bottom casing is scratch-prone, no bundled software
We wouldn’t recommend Astone's portable hard drive for people who will be commuting with it every day, or for people who have a tendency to drop things. However, with a design to rival Apple products and quick file transfer speeds, it is a stylish way to carry around your data and media.
Considering Astone's motto — "Design for Life!" — it is no surprise that the ISO GEAR 288 external hard drive's prioritises style over durability. Thankfully, this hard drive is also quite fast. Though it won't survive a trip to the Sahara, it is a great companion in the classroom or art studio.
The Astone ISO GEAR 288 isn't the smallest external hard drive around, but it is certainly one of the slimmest; we're surprised Astone managed to fit the 500GB hard drive in there at all. The thin enclosure certainly adds to the hard drive's appeal and makes it a perfect fit for tight pockets. There is a single mini-USB 2.0 port on one side of the device.
Unfortunately, the ISO GEAR 288's brushed metal bottom casing is prone to scratching and alone fingerprints. Astone claims the metal helps dissipate heat from the hard drive inside, though you may end up with an enclosure that resembles a heavily used iPod Touch.
Astone includes a mini-USB to USB cable and a leather pouch in the ISO GEAR 288's sales package. It doesn’t come with any software, but we weren't disappointed; bundled drive utilities are usually little more than bloatware.
We transferred 20GB of 3-4GB files between the ISO GEAR 288 external hard drive and a Western Digital Velociraptor (WD3000GLFS), as well as 3GB of 1MB files. In the 20GB transfer test, the ISO GEAR 288 external hard drive achieved a write speed of 24.9 megabytes per second and a read speed of 28.7MBps, and it performed a simultaneous read/write operation at a rate of 11.9MBps. These speeds are nearly identical to the Transcend StoreJet 25M-R.
The Astone ISO GEAR 288 external hard drive fell behind the Transcend in the 3GB test, however. It had a write speed of 13.6MBps, a read speed of 20.7MBps and a simultaneous read/write speed of 9.5MBps. While these speeds are slightly slower than the Transcend drive's, the ISO GEAR 288 external hard drive is still fairly quick.
Its file transfer speeds and attractive enclosure make the Astone ISO GEAR 288 a great portable hard drive. Though it won't suit the road warrior, this hard drive is a decent choice for those who value style and performance over durability.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 BlackBerry Priv review: When old habits die hard
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- More Dick Smith staff go as $2 million in underpayments is discovered
- Turn a barebones PC into a graphics powerhouse with AMD's new FirePro server GPUs
- Like Chromebooks, thumb-size PCs will bloom
- Apple's Q1: Record $US18.4 billion profit, but iPhone sales are slowing
- Chromebooks are siphoning market share from Windows PCs
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- CCRisk and Quality Assurance AnalystVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CCSenior Project Manager - Cloud / Telecommunications (Melb CBD)VIC
- CCSolution Architect_Microsoft ArchitectureACT
- FTTechnical Lead (C#/.Net)NSW
- CCTechnical Tester - AutomationVIC
- CCBusiness Objects DeveloperNSW
- FTTeam Lead ITIL- Permanent OpportunityVIC
- FTVB6 DeveloperNSW
- FTOracle Middleware ConsultantNSW
- FTApplication Packaging & Deployments Team LeaderNSW
- CCSystem TesterQLD
- CCTest AnalystACT
- CCProgram Manager - Big Data - Telecommunications - UrgentNSW
- CCContract Software Engineer (Crystal Report/JAVA) 160129/SE/vccAsia
- FTNetwork Engineer | Canberra | NV1 NV2 clearance | Defence projectsVIC
- CCRecords Officer - CanberraACT
- CCSenior Business Analyst - NPPVIC
- CCJava Developer - IOSNSW
- FTInsight / Customer / modelling - Analyst (Data Scientist)NSW
- FTImplementation Consultant, Enterprise SoftwareNSW
- CCSharePoint Web DeveloperACT
- CCSAP DS and BI SpecialistVIC
- CCIT Service Deliver & Improvement ManagerACT