XSU012BA – 120GB Capacity, 1.8″ Portable Hard Drive from Samsung
Hard Drives are getting smaller by the day, first they used to be on the desk, next they became portable and now, they have become small enough to even fit on your ring finger. Of course, that is assuming that you are willing to reduce storage capacity for the sake of a smaller drive. One company which is following the trend of miniaturization is Samsung, which has launched the new Samsung S1 Mini. With 120 GB and a 1.8” drive with a USB 2.0 Interface, this represents the increasing number of users preferring to use the lighter 1.8 inch hard-drives over the 2.5” model. In the following review, we will see in detail about the S1 Mini. It caters to users who are looking for good performance and if smaller size is a criterion, then this is definitely the right review that your are reading.
The chassis of the S1 External Hard Drive is its most distinguishing feature, small enough to fit into a shirt pocket or a jacket. At 87mm long, 62mm wide, and 15.5mm deep, it is just slightly larger than your mouse and as thin as your USB drive. It weighs 0.201 pounds making it amongst the lightest players in the market. Samsung HXSU012BA comes in 120GB and is available in many colours - piano black, snow white, wine red, sweet pink, ocean blue and chocolate brown. Each colour covers the front and sides of the device and the top has a subtle circular lattice pattern with speckles of glitter. The top of the S1 is ultra-glossy, black and smooth, but it has a dotted texture under a clear plastic cover, so it is not exactly as smooth as Samsung claims it is. There are open vents on the underside to allow cooling air and the aluminum cover dissipates heat. It lacks a fan or for that matter any sort of cooling device, which would add noise.
The S1Mini has only one port - the USB 2.0 port, through which it charges itself. There is a soft blue “activity” LED light on the top of the S1 Mini to notify you whenever you are transferring data. The back of the drive is a matte black plastic with leather like look texture, reminiscent of a dashboard of a 1980s car. Along with the S1, Samsung provides 2 cables with it – a regular USB interface connector at one end and a mini USB jack at the other of 2 lengths – 50cm and 4 cm respectively. The latter being ideal for a laptop link.
Setup and Installation of S1 Mini:
The installation of the Samsung S1 1.8″ 120GB Hard Drive can never get this simple. All you need to do is just plug in the drive and voila! The system will recognize it and once, the drive is installed, the auto-run application loads and there will be present a screen that allows you to read the manual or install the backup software of Samsung.
Capacities available and Compatibility:
The Samsung S1 Mini USB 2.0 is capable of storing files, music, movies and other documents. The drive is available in capacities of 120 GB, 160GB, 200GB and 250GB.
The drive is compatible with both Windows( Microsoft Vista, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional ,Windows 2000 Professional) and Mac Operating Systems( Apple MacOS X10.4.8 or later). However, the maximum file is limited to 2GB. It is easy to reformat the drive to HFS+, NTFS or EXT3 depending on the operating system you use.
Samsung S1 Mini, like other Samsung devices features the Samsung Secret Zone privacy software application operating in the Windows environment. It enables you to protect and save as well, private data from others. This software basically creates virtual drives to store information that you wish to be encrypted. The encrypted data can be mapped into windows as individual drives and they can be of the FAT16, FAT 32 or of the NTFS file format. These drives will be stored as an image file and can be decrypted without the need for the Security Zone Utility. The file is protected by a password and can be opened by the SecretZone software and is easier to handle than TrueCrypt, though not equally powerful.
Samsung Auto Backup software:
The Auto Backup software enables you to backup your data in real-time or as scheduled. This application provides both manual and scheduled backup, and has a nice easy-to-use interface. The file filter dialogue box allows you to select various types of files that you want a back up of. It is preset to back up documents. But if you want to back up your multimedia files, you will have to do it manually. These backup files can be password protected.
Energy Efficient and Noiseless:
The lack of any cooling device such as a fan makes it totally noiseless. The Automatic Power Saving function, an energy conserving feature, turns the drive off after it has been idle for a few minutes. So, there you have a fairly energy efficient and noiseless unit.
When tested for the standard transfer speed test, the 1.8 inch, 4200 rpm drive performed as fast as its 2.5 inch 5300rpm counterparts. Its 23.54MBps read speed and 20.89 Mbps were faster than the Seagate FreeAgent Go and Iomega eGo Camo. However, the leader in the segment is the Transcend StoreJet 25f. At 27.52MBps read and 24.3MBps write, it beats the S1.The USB link seemed to be a limiting factor as the drive was 25 % slower than other models in its league. However, the S1 is not far behind in terms of access time.
Samsung S1 Mini is covered under a generous 3 year warranty that protects it against manufacturer’s defects. For general trouble shooting issues, Samsung provides a comprehensive list of FAQs and a self diagnostic chart to check your drive for common errors on the site before contacting the RMA service.
The Samsung HXSU012BA S1 Mini Hard Drive is all about the size- a meager 1.8”. However, the price you pay for a 120GB drive is simply too much. It is twice as expensive as 500GB drives in the market. The model offers good performance, however one is let down by its sheer cost. It can be placed only vertically and is a little visually challenged. So, it comes down to whether you need to store a large amount of data in such a small size. So the Samsung S1 Mini is recommended, if size is all what matters.
Samsung S1 Mini 120GB Portable Hard Drive – Technical Specification Table
|Model Name||S1 Mini|
|Model number||HXSU012BA – hard drive – 120GB|
|Colours available||Piano black, snow white, wine red, chocolate brown,
sweet pink and ocean blue
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||6.2 cm x 8.7 cm x 1.5 cm|
|Hard disk drive capacity||120 GB|
|Other capacities available||160GB, 250GB and 500GB|
|Data transfer rate (max)||480 Mbit/s|
|Average seek time||12ms (Read) / 14ms (Write)|
|Compatible operating systems||Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional,
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition,
Microsoft Windows XP Professional,
Microsoft Windows Vista, Apple MacOS X 10.4.8 or later
|Software||Samsung Auto Backup
|Additional features||Safety Key
Less Power Consumption
|Package contents||2 x USB cable – external|