A Closer Look
On the back of the Companion are two FireWire 800 ports and three USB 2.0 ports.
One the side is a Kensington security socket along with a 2.1 amp USB 2.0 port (that is used for charging the Apple devices – either an iPhone, iPad or iPod). If you want to do charging, this is the only port you can use.
Using the Companion
Connecting the drive sees the activity lights come on (as shown below).
These lights also act as a capacity gauge, but you need to download and install an additional application from the Iomega website in order for this feature to work. Personally it’s worth the few moment’s it take to do that.
We had the 2TB drive for review:
The Companion is a great piece of kit. It’s a hard drive (either a 2TB or a 3TB drive), which is fast. It’s actually a 3.5 inch 7200 RPM drive. It’s also USB hub and oh yeah, it also charges your Apple devices. I found that all of my Apple devices charged fine when I was using it.
I only connected the Companion via USB as I didn’t have an Apple device with FireWire available, so all my comments are regarding USB connection.
It even sits nicely in front of your Apple Cinema Display or iMac. Although given that the capacity gauge is on the front (which is a nice idea by the way), sitting the Companion in front of a monitor means it can be awkward getting to the rear ports depending on your personal setup.
I tried a variety of different USB devices and all worked without problem.
I found the drive to be fairly quiet, which is nice. I have tried a number of external hard drives over the years and most of the time they can be noisy beasts, so it was nice to use one that wasn’t that loud for a change!
Similar to the Mac eGo drive we reviewed last week, you could format the drive and use it on Windows, but again I really don’t see why you would buy this drive and do that!
I would say that the only thing really missing from the Companion is a Thunderbolt connection! Maybe in the next release?
Price wise, the 2TB version retails for £228.30 with the 3TB version at £285.50. So not exactly the cheapest drives on the market, but then again, it’s not just a hard drive! My advice if you are interested in buying one of these is to go for the 3TB version.Learn more from the Iomega website