Micromart SSD Review

11th August 2010

micro mart
Justin Bantock looks at a device designed to keep his data safe

Back in Micro Mart issue 1096, Mark Oakley took a look at the diskG* 320GB, a secure, portable hard drive which was based around a standard 5,400 RPM hard disc. Today I’m looking at the latest Solid State Drive (SSD) version, with 128GB storage capacity.

As is same with the original version, the diskG* SSD has a black, rubber finish, with a short, built-in USB cable that folds away in the casing. On the front of the case, there are the various iStorage and diskG* logos, an activity LED and control buttons, 0-9, cancel and unlock. When depressed they make a nice click sound so you know you have pressed it. It comes with a USB Y cable, a neoprene travel pouch and a quick start guide.

Just as before, the diskG* SSD features 256-bit AES real-time hardware encryption, helping to keep data safe and impenetrable unless you know the unlock code. If you forget your code, you get 50 attempts to unlock the diskG* SSD before it locks and the only thing you can do with the device is a full reset which wipes all the data. The diskG* has recently been awarded the BESG Claims Tested Mark (CCTM) which is a government quality mark for public and private sectors, designed to prove the validity of the security functionality claims by vendors.

With an average read speed of 29.8MB/s and a burst speed of 31.3MB-s there isn’t much to get excited about. However, the diskG* SSD really shows its speed with a random access time of a mere 0.7ms.

The SSD version has been designed due to demand from various government and military departments who need the ruggedness offered by SSD over a standard hard disk, such as the ability to withstand much higher shocks of 1500G per 0.5ms and the ability to work in extreme temperatures of 0 to 70 degrees Celsius and 95% humidity at up to 55 degrees Celsius.

If you thought the cost for the original diskG* 320GB was a lot at around £150, now lowered to around £130, then you better sit down and breathe deeply. The 128GB SSD version weights in at a whopping £492.33. No, that’s not a mistake. Granted, the random access time is virtually nothing, the chances of having it drop and break is extremely minimal as there are no moving parts and the device is certainly secure, but it is really worth such a premium over the higher capacity, 5,400 RPM hard disk version which has the same security? Unless you must have the benefits that the SSD version offers, get the original diskG* which offers a lot more storage for your money and will leave you with a lot more money in your wallet.
* Previously known as diskGenie