Two Minute Review – Iomega Mac Companion Hard Drive

If you have a Mac and you want an external drive that is more than just a drive, take a look at our latest two minute review of the Iomega Mac Companion Hard Drive.

The Iomega Mac Companion Hard Drive includes 2 fast FireWire 800 interfaces, a USB 2.0 hub, plus a FireWire 400 to 800 cable. Styled to match the latest Mac computers, it also includes a convenient USB charging/syncing port for your iPad, iPod or iPhone device. The space saving design fits perfectly on the Apple iMac base or on your Apple monitor. With multiple interfaces you can easily add other peripherals like a printer or other external storage. It includes a handy capacity gauge on the front and fast 7200 RPM drive speed.

Who are Iomega?

From their website:

Iomega Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of EMC Corporation headquartered in San Diego, is a worldwide leader in innovative storage and network security solutions for small businesses, home offices, consumers and others. The Company has sold more than 410 million digital storage drives and disks since its inception in 1980. Today, Iomega’s product portfolio includes industry leading network attached storage products, external hard drives, multimedia drives, and our award-winning removable storage technology, the REV® Backup Drive.

Features

  • Fast: Fast transfer speeds available including FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connections; 7200 RPM drive speed
  • Multiple Connections: One USB 2.0 port, two FireWire 800 ports and a two port integrated USB 2.0 hub* lets you connect multiple devices
  • Feature-rich: Styled to match the latest Mac computers; Stacks on the iMac base or Mac monitor; HFS+ for ease of use right out of the box; USB port (2.1 Amp) to charge/sync your iPad, iPod or iPhone device*
  • Capacity Gauge: Capacity gauge on front lets you know how much storage is available on the hard drive**
  • Warranty: Three year limited warranty with product registration

* The Mac Companion must be connected to the computer via USB in order to use the USB hub or the charge/sync port.
** Requires software utility install to enable capacity gauge feature

 

Specifications

System Requirements

  • One USB 2.0 port
  • Two FireWire 800 ports
  • Two port integrated USB 2.0 hub (The Mac Companion must be connected to the computer via USB in order to use the USB hub or the charge/sync port)
  • Preformatted in HFS+
  • Compatible with PC and Mac®
  • Transfer rates of 480 Mbits/s when connected to a USB 2.0 controller; up to 800 Mbits when connected to a FireWire 800 controller
  • Memory cache of 8MB or better
  • Three year limited warranty with product registration within 90 days of purchase
  • Power Mac® G3 or greater
  • Built-in USB or FireWire 800/400 connection
  • FireWire 800 (1394a)/USB 1.1: Mac OS X 10.5 – 10.7 (drive performance will be reduced using a USB 1.1 connection)
  • USB 2.0: Mac OS 10.5 or higher
  • 128MB RAM or higher as required by operating system

Dimensions: 1.75″ H x 5.82″ W x 7.77″ L
Weight: 4.54 pounds

What’s in the Box?

  • Iomega® Mac Companion Hard Drive
  • USB 2.0 Cable
  • FireWire® 800 Cable
  • FireWire® 400 to 800 Cable (for 1394b to 1394a conversion)
  • Power Supply
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Iomega Protection Suite Software via Download
    • Trend Micro™ Smart Surfing software for Mac – 1 year FREE subscription via download – $59.99 value
    • Iomega QuikProtect
    • MozyHome™ Online Backup service (2GB Free)

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:

Final Thoughts

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

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