HP SimpleSave Portable (320GB) external hard drive
HP's SimpleSave Portable makes backing up a PC easy, even for novices
- Easy to use, customisable, backs up multiple PCs, can be used as a standard external hard drive
- No Mac support, navigating through backed up files can be a chore, can't mirror an entire PC, some obscure file types enabled by default
If you have never backed up your PC before, the HP SimpleSave Portable external hard drive is a fantastic way to get started. It is cheap, easy to use, and can be customised to suit a range of requirements.
Price$ 139.00 (AUD)
HP's SimpleSave Portable is a 320GB external hard drive that can automatically back up data from multiple PCs with minimal input from the user. The included software is geared towards novices and is extremely easy to use, though we would have liked some more comprehensive backup options.
The HP SimpleSave Portable external hard drive has a low price point and is well-built. The drive has a single mini-USB 2.0 port. It's designed and built by Western Digital and is similar to the My Passport range of external hard drives.
Though the SimpleSave Portable can be used as a run-of-the-mill portable hard drive, its main appeal is what HP describes as "hands-free" backup. Like Seagate's Replica, the HP SimpleSave allows you to back up PCs with little user input.
The SimpleSave software works by finding and backing up particular file types on a computer's internal hard drives; 330 different file extensions are supported out of the box, but the software allows you to add your own file types, too. Custom extensions must be added one by one. You can select which file types are stored on the SimpleSave Portable, and you can enable or disable entire groups of file types (such as different types of media or office documents, for example).
The SimpleSave software backs up folders as well, though it excludes the Program Files folder by default. This prevents the SimpleSave Portable from backing up unnecessary files. You can easily change the backup schedule to include or exclude other folders on the hard drives. Unfortunately, the portable hard drive can't be used to back up and restore an entire PC. We found that the SimpleSave software enabled "Other" file types by default, which included some obscure file types (like DAT files).
The SimpleSave software doesn't require installation; it launches directly from the SimpleSave Portable external hard drive when connected. Once launched, the software is largely automated, though you can interrupt the process to access advanced settings or change which folders the drive searches for files to back up. The software provides two 25-second countdown timers before it begins backing up your PC according to the enabled file extensions. The backup runs as a background task on the computer and won't interfere with other programs.
Once the initial backup is complete, you can back up another PC or leave it plugged in so it automatically continues to backup. There is no way to set the frequency of subsequent backups. After the initial backup, the SimpleSave Portable will back up new files or new versions of the same file. As the backup is incremental, older versions of the same file on the portable hard drive will be overwritten.
File organisation is fairly rudimentary. Backups for each PC are placed in folders marked in incremental numbers, and navigating through them to find a single file or directory using Windows Explorer can be a pain. The SimpleSave software allows you to restore files and directories to their original path or another one.
The hard drive used in the SimpleSave Portable — a Western Digital 320GB Scorpio Blue — was fairly slow in our file transfer tests. Transferring 20GB of 3-4GB files, the hard drive wrote at 25.1 megabytes per second, read at 27.9MBps and performed a simultaneous read/write operation at 11.6MBps. It was even slower when transferring 3GB worth of 1MB files, writing the data at 12.6MBps. It read the same data at 20.4MBps and performed a simultaneous read/write operation at a rate of 8.2MBps.
While this portable hard drive isn't particularly speedy, it doesn't necessarily need to be: the SimpleSave Portable is geared towards backups that are to be performed when a computer is idle. It doesn't require high performance to do this. We would have liked Mac support and the ability to create a disk image, but the SimpleSave Portable is fantastic if you want to back up your photos and MP3s, for example, rather than one or more whole computers.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the PC World newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Judge paves the way for British hacker's extradition to US
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Toshiba's new SSD line features rock-bottom pricing
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
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.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCTest Capability LeadNSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- TPSolution Architect - Transport DomainVIC
- CCService Desk Analyst - TelcoTAS
- FTPerformance TesterACT
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTMicrosoft ConsultantVIC
- CCProject Support SpecialistVIC
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net Developer - Internet of ThingsNSW
- TPLinux Desktop Support SpecialistWA
- FTJunior Software Developer - SASACT
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- CCProject SpecialistVIC
- TPInformation Management SpecialistVIC
- CCService ManagerACT
- FTSenior Project Manager - Permanent OpportunityNSW
- FTIt Security and process analystNSW
- CCCA ITCM / ITCA EngineerNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCMarketing SpecialistNSW
- FTConsultant Business AnalystQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst AO7QLD
- CCSenior Infrastructure EngineerNSW
- TPService Desk Analyst - Level 1VIC