The SimpleTech [re]drive from Hitachi belongs to the category of products known as external hard drives, which are normally connected to one’s PC or Mac via a USB cable for the purposes of offering extra storage beyond the computer’s integrated hard drive. Common applications of external hard drives usually include overflow data storage and back up of one’s more prized media file types, such as videos and images.
Hitachi provided us with a 500 GB version of the [re]drive for this review. That is, for the most part, more than enough space for most average computer users to store their media or other files on. The drive comes in a rather standard cardboard looking box which, while perhaps eco-friendly for recycling, could be smaller given what’s packed inside – the [re]drive, power cable and USB cable. On the positive side, the “quick install guide” is printed on the inside of the box itself, saving at least on one enclosure commonly found with newly purchased computer products.
From the point of aesthetics, the [re]drive does have a nice modern and refreshing look to it, especially when you compare it to the drab gray or tan colors found on many comparable devices. The uses of sustainable bamboo and recycled aluminum on the external casing help to give the [re]drive a natural feel, especially when you touch the wood’s grain.
Setting up the [re]drive is quite simple – you connect the USB cable to the drive’s back and host computer, plug it in and wait a bit for your computer to recognize it. Now it should be said that with external hard drives a growing number of them can be powered by the attached computer’s USB port alone. If this drive were truly to be energy efficient, it would offer this as an option instead of making use of a separate power adapter. The adapter is Energy Star rated though, which at least mitigates some of the energy hog issue (a power test shows the drive draws about 2 watts of power when not in use).