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A-DATA Nobility NH01 USB 3.0 Portable HDD Video Review

A-DATA is out with its portable 2.5-inch NH01 USB 3.0 hard disk drive. We put it through the paces on video.
By Cameron Wilmot from Apr 22, 2010 @ 1:29 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: A-DATA

A-DATA Nobility NH01 USB 3.0 Portable HDD Video Review

When you think of A-DATA, in the past you would have only thought about memory modules and maybe some fancy looking cartoon character pen drives. These days the Taiwanese memory making company has really started to spread its wings into more than just traditional memory products. It now has a line of ultra fast performing solid state drives along with portable storage devices, one of which we are getting a look at here today.

We are today focusing our attention on the new Nobility NH01 portable hard drive. It's a brand new product just released from A-DATA and promises some good performance since it connects to your computer via USB 3.0. SuperSpeed USB or USB 3.0 is a new connectivity standard designed to replace USB 2.0 and is able to offer up to five gigabits per second, or a massive 625MB/s.


We were a little disappointed to discover that the Nobility NH01 comes with a hard drive inside rather than one of A-DATA's speedy new solid state drives, but the USB 3.0 connector should help pull as much performance out of the traditional spinning hard drive as possible. The model we are looking at today comes with a 500GB hard drive installed that will set you back 110 USD (MSRP), but there are also 320GB (83 USD MSRP) and 640GB (134 USD MSRP) models available, too. And by the time you read this, they should be on store shelves, or soon enough to being on them.


In the picture above you get a good look at the top part of the NH01. It's a classy little unit that is small enough to fit into your pocket, but also maintains a good level of visual appeal. The internal hard drive is incased in a strong plastic with a stylish black glossy look with a logo that reflects different colors. While you cannot see it here, there is also a blue power and activity LED that is located under the logo in the middle.


In this shot we get a look at the new mini USB 3.0 connector that you may not have seen before now. A-DATA bundles a USB 3.0 cable with the package that connects from the NH01 to a spare USB 3.0 port on your computer. If your computer or laptop doesn't have a USB 3.0 port, never fear as you can still plug the NH01 into a USB 2.0 port, but of course then it will only run at USB 2.0 speeds which is up to almost 60MB/s, but really only sees a little over 30MB/s in most cases.


We are expecting to see the NH01 perform at around 90MB/s, which is around three times faster than USB 2.0 and about what we typically see USB 3.0 devices performing at this stage of the game as the silicon and technology matures.


In our first performance test we use the read speed test under HD Tune Pro 3.50 and see performance numbers along the lines of what we expected. We see a maximum read speed of 87.5MB/s, with a minimum of 43.5MB/s (much faster than the maximum we see from USB 2.0) and the average is at around 70MB/s, which is pretty decent from a standard 2.5-inch hard drive.


In our second test we also use HD Tune Pro 3.50 again, but this time measure write speed performance. We can see roughly similar results to the read tests, except the minimum goes a little low here to around 39MB/s.


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