Reviews |ADATA HD330 External HDD Durable

ADATA HD330 External HDD Durable Review

Older storage technology proves robust with this durable portable hard drive

ADATA HD330 External HDD Durable review
Review

Price when reviewed

£58

$59
Check current price

Our Verdict

The ADATA HD330 External HDD Durable shows its age with the USB 3.2 Gen1 connector and an internal 2.5-inch magnetic drive. However, while this technology is old, it’s tried and tested, making it incredibly reliable.
Transfer speeds are excellent at around 130MB/s in most situations, with a moderate slow down after sustained use.
The drive’s durability comes from the protective silicon surrounding, in much the same way as the better known Lacie Tough drives.
While the drive wasn’t subjected to too much abuse, it was left to rattle around in the bottom of a kit bag, it was used on several shoots as a backup and 1080p working drive, and delt with everything without a hitch.
The ADATA HD330 External HDD Durable is a decent drive and robust, but there are portable hard drive options out there with newer technology and cheaper.

For

  • Durable
  • Backup ToGo included for PC

Against

  • Uses USB 3.2 Gen1 connector
  • Slower than an SSD
  • Backup ToGo Windows only

What is the ADATA HD330 External HDD Durable?

The ADATA HD330 External HDD Durable is a portable hard drive designed for use by anyone needing a hard drive that can withstand a knock or two. The drive also uses a standard 2.5-inch magnetic drive inside, which means that the 1, 2, 4 and 5TB versions are all well priced, unlike the SSD equivalents.

While the magnetic technology is starting to look a little dated, there are benefits. Transfer speeds are impressive using the USB 3.2 Gen1 connector, enabling this drive for fast backup storage space and a decent working drive for HD video.

The drive is surrounded by a tough silicone outer that helps protect it from a knock or two, which separates this drive from a standing portable and presumably adds a premium to the cost. It also has built-in shock protection that will help keep your data safe if the drive is dropped and inside there’s a shock sensor that further helps to ensure your files are safe.

For PC users there’s also the option to utilise the Backup ToGo software which offers AES 256-bit encryption if you need the files on the drive to stay safe in case of loss.

Overall it’s a well rounded drive with plenty to offer.

Specification

  • Capacity : 1,2,4 and 5TB
  • Connection USB : 3.2 Gen1
  • Colour : Blue, Black or Red
  • Weight : 189.8g 1,2TB, 315.6g 4,5TB
  • Operating temperature : 5 to 50ºC

Performance

When a drive arrives that states that it is durable, the first thing I want to do is drop it and throw it around a bit to see just how durable it is. However, from experience, durable or tough doesn’t always mean that it’s suitable for this level of abuse, instead it means the drive will happily withstand a knock or two or survive the extremes of being thrown loose into a kit bag.

In the case of the ADATA HD330 External HDD Durable, I surmise that the durable means it’s a bit tougher than most magnetic portable hard drives, so to test this it fell off the table a few times onto a hard cold floor. It survived; it is tough in that sense.

We’ve seen the silicon outer from ADATA and other storage manufacturers over the years, and to be fair, it works incredibly well. I use tough drives as a matter of course and have a stack of the bright orange and silver solutions nested on a shelf. The ADATA is in every respect akin to those drives, equally tough and able to withstand a knock or two out in the field.

A drive’s physical toughness is only one part, and ADATA is known for making slightly quirky but very resilient drives.
Throughout the test, this drive was dropped, thrown into a kit bag (rather than neatly tucked into a pocket) knocked off tables, thrown to other team members and generally looked after in a way that is simply asking for the drive to give up, which it didn’t.

By the end of the test, I’d gone from underwhelmed by the design and age of the technology to respecting the abilities of the small drive.

In transport, it survived more abuse than most drives, and in use, it backed up files without issue. As as a working drive, it provided the transfer speeds required to edit 1080p video without a hitch, although there was some drive slows down after sustained use.

Checking the results using AJA System Test, it gained the following results:

Read 125MB/s
Write 124MB/s

After 12 hours of sustained use.
Read 121MB/s
Write 82MB/s

Final Thoughts

The ADATA HD330 External HDD Durable is a slightly quirky looking drive, although quite streamlined. The durable name of the drive comes from the silicon outer. This outer does help to protect the drive from the knocks and other damage that it may sustain over a day’s use.

When it comes to the technology, it is a bit dated using a last generation connector, and hard drive technology that is quickly disappearing; however, it all comes together and works incredibly well.
The ADATA HD330 External HDD Durable is a great choice as a tough everyday solution. With the larger storage options going up to 5TB, it could be a good onsite backup for smaller setups as long as you have an off-site solution such as BackBlaze running as well.

Overall I’m impressed with the ADATA HD330 External HDD Durable; it lived up to its name and provided the performance. However, I still feel it’s a tad expensive for what it is.

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