1: Intro & spec 2: First impressions 3: Installing an HDD 4: User interface 5: Timings & performance 6: Compared to 7: Conclusion
CompactDrive PD70X portable storage device review

7: Conclusion




A reasonable performer, the CompactDrive PD70X (aka Hyperdrive HD80) represents the mid range of the non-colour screen portable storage device arena. In general it feels reassuringly solid.

Card compatibility can be an issue; tests revealed that using TypeH xD cards can corrupt the hard disk. However it was fine with the Sandisk Ultra II and Extreme IV cards used during testing. I suggest you always check that the card works with the PD70X before you use it in the field. It's possible that updating the firmware on the device may fix this issue; unfortunately there's no way to find out what firmware revision is running on the PD70X.

The battery compartment door can become misaligned in use, I haven't had it fail, but it doesn't feel as reassuring as I'd like. Similarly, it's possible to insert Compact Flash cards into the slot at a slight angle and get them jammed; no damage has occurred, but it can make use in the field hit and miss.

Most hard disks do not handle altitude well. Usually drives are only rated to run beneath ~3000m/10000ft. Above those sorts of altitudes flash cards would be my recommendation. I haven't had any problems in the field, but bear in mind that hard disks are comparatively fragile compared to flash cards - so be careful with them, particularly when they're running.

Performance wise, it's reasonable; copying from fast cards will get a sustained transfer rate of ~9Mb/s. Unfortunately it's slow as external hard disk; which means that transferring images back to your computer may take a while.

The standout feature has to be the autonomy though - this device can run for a very reasonable amount of time on one charge. With full verify, using a set of four 2100mAh Hybrio batteries I managed to transfer 30Gb before the device shutdown with a "Low Battery" message.

The low price makes it an option worth considering who need to store a lot of photographs whilst away from their computer, but for most people the NextoCF Ultra ND2525 may represent a better choice.

Detail Rating (out of 10)
Build quality 8
Ergonomics and user interface 4
Features 8
Performance (speed) 6
Value 6

Overall, average

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