My main PC is an elderly laptop, still running XP Home SP3, left in a fixed set-up at home with an external monitor & keyboard. Fortunately, when I got it I got quite a high hardware spec and it still runs all the apps I need. However the original 80GB HDD fitted was getting full, and a couple of years ago I added a 250GB Maxtor USB drive to it. Recently the Maxtor was also reaching practical limits of storage so I invested in this Iomega 500GB USB HDD.
Wow, what a change in a couple of years! Drive for drive the Iomega must be about half the length, height and width of the Maxtor - in other words about 1/8th the volume and probably less than 1/10th the weight. For double the capacity. And that's not even counting the Maxtor power supply! So my initial reactions out of the box for the Iomega were very favourable. OK, the Maxtor was a metal case which is where a lot of the weight probably came from. The Iomega is a metallised plastic to look like dark-grey brushed aluminium, but in my usage it doesn't get any physical stress or knocks anyway. Small point in the Iomega's favour: the drive active LED on the Maxtor was an annoying intensity and shade of blue; I find the smaller blue-white indicator on the Iomega much less distracting by comparison.
It says 500GB and no, you don't get 500GB, you get 465GB or thereabouts. So what? I don't think we'll ever get disk manufacturers to accept this issue. Yes, they are right by all the scientific and engineering and SI definitions of what the Giga- prefix means: 10^9. And yet, by any Windows-based measure Giga- is used to mean 2^30. And there's a difference of nearly 7.5% between the two values. Annoying though it may be, we just have to accept it I suspect.
I was delighted to see the drive had no installed software on it. I'd spotted a few other drives that offered free backup software, or free anti-virus, or free something else. No, thank you very much. I've got my system well set up with regular back-up routines, security and all the other bits and pieces I need. If I want software I buy software. If I want hardware I expect to buy hardware.
I plugged the drive in to one USB port (the supplied cable has two full-size USB plugs at one end in case your specific PC or netbook doesn't provide adequate power through a single USB port) and it powered up and was recognised without problem. Despite the comments of a couple of other reviewers about this being slow I really can't complain. I ran a disk test utility on it first thing to see what the transfer speed was and it was as good as I've seen over USB 2.0. Absolutely no complaints.
I then copied the best part of 200GB of data to it in a single sweep (thumbs up for TeraCopy freeware - recommended!). Despite running hard and constantly for several hours the little drive was very comfortably cool. That was a surprise - I had expected a high-density package like this would get at least warm. So far, in all activities it has behaved just as you want a disk to behave - you don't even remember it's there.
I may adopt the idea of another reviewer about sticking small rubber feet on one face of the drive to stop it being slid around a polished surface too easily - nice idea, simple solution.
What are you waiting for? Go get one, or two. I'm seriously considering getting some more for myself.