It’s not easy finding portable storage solutions catering to your specific needs when the market is flooded with them. A quick search on alone gives you over 25 results. Which do you go for? To help narrow down your search, we review Iomega’s eGo Helium 320GB portable hard drive.

If first impressions are anything to go by, you’d buy it on looks alone: it’s sleek, sexy and lightweight. Sound familiar? The drive was specifically designed to go with a Macbook Air, but that doesn’t mean you need one to buy one of these beauties. It weighs 200 grams and is 4.75 inches long, 3.45 inches wide and 0.63 inches thick. The design is simplistic, with only two inputs – a mini USB and a power source. A USB-powered cable is included.

The aluminium drive easily fits into the palm of your hand or your back pocket (but we don’t recommend carrying it around in that manner) and has a drop guard feature that protects the drive from falls of up to 1.3 metres (we also don’t recommend testing this out!).

If you’re using a Mac, the drive is recognised once plugged in. However, if you’re using a Windows PC, you will have to reformat the drive NTFS (New Technology File System). Step-by-step instructions are provided for this procedure.

The drive has a USB 2.0 interface, so transferring files should be fast. A quick test of transferring a 700MB file proved that it can be done in 30 seconds (23 Mbps) while transferring 700MB of smaller files (150 mp3 tracks) copied in 40 seconds (17.5 Mbps).

A bonus is a backup solution that Imega offers with the drive. You are given licence codes for EMC’s Retrospect (depending on your OS) in the box that will provide you with a backup solution. All you have to do is download the software. More information can be found online at

Written for Digital Life magazine, Aug-Sep 2009