Astone ISO GEAR 290 (500GB) external hard drive

Astone's 500GB external hard drive is easy to use for data backups but its flimsy enclosure doesn't offer much protection

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 5
Astone ISO GEAR 290 (500GB)
  • Astone ISO GEAR 290 (500GB)
  • Astone ISO GEAR 290 (500GB)
  • Astone ISO GEAR 290 (500GB)

Pros

  • Attached USB cable, one-touch backup button, fast file transfer speeds

Cons

  • Insufficient hard drive protection, a plain design with cheap feel

Bottom Line

Astone ISO GEAR 290 (500GB) external drive enclosure provides an easy way to connect your 2.5in notebook hard drive to a computer, but it doesn't provide much protection from knocks and bumps an external hard drive will be subjected to.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)

See all prices

Astone's ISO GEAR 290 is a 2.5in 500GB external hard drive that allows you to easily transfer and backup data from your notebook or desktop computer. Additionally, its enclosure is easy to open, so you can swap out the hard drive with one of your own choosing, so you're not forever stuck with the one provided. However, its perforated metal enclosure doesn't provides enough protection for the hard drive inside.

The ISO GEAR 290 external drive enclosure doesn't have an attractive design. The brushed metal texture on the underside of the enclosure is stylish but the faux leather flap makes the enclosure feel cheap. Lifting up the leather flap reveals the hard drive itself — a Western Digital 500GB Scorpio Blue notebook drive — which sits underneath a perforated metal cover.

Unfortunately, this enclosure provides little protection for the drive during rigorous daily use. The faux leather flap does not entirely cover the perforated shell and, as a result, the ISO GEAR 290 is more prone to knocks and bumps than other drives we've tested, such as the Transcend StoreJet 25M-R.

The ISO GEAR 290 external hard drive's USB 2.0 cable is attached to the enclosure, which means you won't forget to bring the cable with moving the drive. The cable slips into the leather cover when it's not in use.

The drive also has a one-touch backup button which can be configured using the Windows-only PC Clone EX Lite software (this can be downloaded from Astone's Web site). The software needs to be installed on the computer you plan to back up, but it is extremely easy to setup. You can choose the directories you want to backup to the external hard drive, and you can also set up a hot key to start the backup in addition to using the hard drive enclosure's one-touch button.

We tested the Astone ISO GEAR 290 external hard drive's performance by transferring files between the drive and our test PC using a 300GB Western Digital VelociRaptor system drive. We conducted large and small file transfers, using 20GB worth of 3-4GB files for the large file transfers, and 3GB worth of 1MB files for our small file transfers.

In the large file test, the ISO GEAR 290 external hard drive attained a write speed of 25.2 megabytes per second (MBps), a read speed of 28.7MBps and a simultaneous read/write speed of 11.5MBps. In the small file test, file transfer speeds were slower; it attained a write speed of 13.5MBps, a read speed of 20.5MBps and it performed a simultaneous read/write operation at a rate of 9.7MBps.

In both tests, the speeds are almost identical to the ISO GEAR 288 but the results are slightly slower than Transcend's StoreJet 25M-R transfer speeds.

Like the ISO GEAR 288, the ISO GEAR 290 external hard drive is available with a hard drive installed (as is the case with our review model) or as an empty drive enclosure. The empty enclosure without a drive costs $29. This means you can simply purchase the empty enclosure and add your own hard drive; or you can buy a version with a drive already installed and replace it at any time. Drive replacement is easily done by removing three small screws that secure the perforated cover. A small piece of rubber secures the hard drive and cushions it from potential vibration and movement.

We appreciate the additional features of the attached USB cable and one-touch backup button, but overall the ISO GEAR 290 external hard drive doesn't provide the hard drive with enough protection. Unless you particularly like the design of this drive, and its ease of drive access, we would recommend something more rugged and affordable.

Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

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.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

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.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
Use WhistleOut's technology to compare:
Mobile phone plans & deals
Mobile phone models
Mobile phone carriers
Broadband plans & deals
Broadband providers
Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?