06/21/05 last updated: 06/21/05
Reviewer: Ken Wold
I/OMagic announced their stylish Gigabank Premier 80GB portable hard-drives in May. The Gigabank Premier drive has an integrated USB cable and looks like PDA leather case. Ken is all over it and thinks it has magic. Read his review below to find out why.
With all of the hardware, software, peripherals and ensuing large amounts of storage requirements all of that brings forth; I need something “magical” to come to life to help me cope with it all. Out of thin air comes the I/O Magic Premier 80GB hot swappable external hard disk drive (HDD) unit. Thin, svelte, appropriately wrapped in a black faux leather “tuxedo” and “bow tie” in a dazzling smooth chrome case; it appears as if it could mystically appear not just in your pocket but as a fashion statement accessorizing and fitting into anything you wear while performing all of the magical “tricks” you desire. Sure, you could solve part of your data storage wishes by purchasing a large, bulky, stationary HDD with tremendous capacity, but you lose portability and, as a result, multi-functionality and an accompanying disappearing act of precious cash. The Premier 80GB Giga Bank fits in your pocket as well as within your pocketbook and supports Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP.
If you’re like me, I am always acutely aware of backing up all of my data routinely as I do not relish the thought of mysteriously losing that precious information we have all expended enormous amounts of time compiling. I/O Magic solves that mystery by not only providing us with a large amount of portable storage at the touch of a button, but also allows ease in operation and ability to transport anywhere we need it to go and hidden at the same time. Actually, people may think you have the latest PDA, smart phone or mini tablet PC until you use your mystical powers to demonstrate the latest in storage technology. What kind of magic tricks can the Giga Bank do for you? A USB 2.0 port (conveniently stored away in its self-enclosed pouch), which is also backwards USB 1.1 compatible with none of those dreaded batteries or power adapters required. This ultra-light device enables you to backup entire contents; individual files and all types including MP3 (20,000), video files (80 hours of MPEG), photos (80,000), office products and much more. Download or transfer that voluminous data between computers with the one-touch button (requires Windows 2000/XP) on the front of the 2.5” IDE HDD unit or select files as you wish. The Premier 80 ships with two USB 2.0 extension cables, quick install guide and software CD to assist you in transferring, uploading/downloading your data.
How about an “illusionary” size of 5.75”L X 3.5”W X 1”H and a one year warranty too. The stated data transfer rate of 480Mbits/second was very close to the 478Mbits/second download rate I achieved after backing up my entire 80GB networked HDD and immediately uploading all back again at 470Mbits/second. The included PC Clone EX software installed in less than a minute and was very easy to navigate and use with a quick launch tab consisting of choices for “system” or “files” backup. Switch to the system backup tab and it identifies your systems bus type, partitions and type, model number, total and free space available. Choose your system drive type, click on the “backup” button, check the “verify data after backup” and you’re ready to go. Move to the files tab, identify the files you desire for backup or use the “restore” function button. Now, go to the files manager tab and view all of the data in both identified drives and exit. More magic is in store with programmable “hot keys” under the setup tab allowing you to choose keys for system and files backup along with choosing the compression ratio, select “add files to existing backup” or “discard and replace existing backup”. You may also choose from the files or system backup double confirm and have the software load automatically on Windows™ startup.
If you have any problems (you shouldn’t), click on the enclosed, intuitive “help” button to open the searchable dialog box. Such simplicity. Did I say I had a 2GB “thumb drive”? Well, not any longer. The Premier Giga Bank lineup also is available in a 100GB HDD. If you don’t require that kind of storage, I/O Magic offers its amazed audience configurations of 20/40/60GB (Elite models at 2.75” X 4.5”) and the 2.2/4.0/6.0 (2” X 2.5”) units.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Any magician’s bag (pocket) of tricks can always be improved upon and practice makes perfect. Let’s look at what we can add:
- LCD/OLED screen to provide direct peripheral down/uploads with no intermediary PC link
- Firewire port
- Navigation controls in concert with LCD/OLED screen for true and complete portability with all devices
- Perpendicular HDD for even larger capacity
Of course, we could be leaning toward a PMP/PVR scenario, but we can dream can’t we? Obviously, any magician yearns for a fantastic show with the crowd going wild over the illusions presented. However, this magician is no illusionist and there is no “bag of tricks”. I/O Magic has created reality from vision via the Premier 80 Giga Bank and this show is a hit. Lastly, every magician has a beautiful assistant and Krista, as you know, is one of the best in the business!
Built-in 2.5” 80GB IDE HDD
Support ATA PIO mode 0-4. Ultra DMA 2, 4
Data Transfer up to 480Mbit/second
Drive supports Windows: 98SE/ME/2000/XP
Single-touch data backup
Support ATA PIO mode 0-4. Ultra DMA 2, 4.
USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 backwards compatible)
USB bus powered. No external power supply necessary
Single-Touch Backup software requires Windows XP/2000
Gigabank™ Premier 80
Quick Install Guide
USB Extension Cable
Dimensions 5.75”L x 3.5” W x 1” H
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