Gadget review: Verbatim Executive Portable Hard Drive

Verbatim Executive Pocket Drive
Verbatim Executive Pocket Drive
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Personal data storage is essential. These days technology affords us the luxury to be snap happy. We rattle off hundreds of pictures in a blink of an eye and can even shoot HD video with our smartphones, video being the most space-hungry medium and the most likely one to swallow up all that free space on your hard drive.

Scarier still is that, more often than not, we only have one copy of our files. If this rings true then take note - the inevitable will happen. I can assure you.

Creating a backup of your data will safeguard against most problems, be it a virus or, worse still, the frustration of a failed hard disc and the resulting loss of all those special moments. But, as those smart enough to own a backup of your data can testify, anything backed up can be easily restored and in a flash.

Choosing a storage device for the job is a much more difficult prospect than simply admitting you need one. This is because the market is flooded with manufacturers making them. Search the internet and very quickly you are confronted with a dizzying selection of drives - each stating they are better than the last - and the burden of choice towers over your decision of which one to go for.

Like it or not, the old saying “You only get what you pay for” rings true. So, when making your decision, opt for a well-known manufacturer. 

VERBATIM is one such company who is reliable in the same way that luxurious motorists can trust Rolls Royce to be completely dependable.  The PC consumables company has specialised in creating quality CDR and DVD-R disc storage for years. Personally, I rate them amongst the very best and have never had reason to fault their products.

Indeed, such is my faith in Verbatim, I rate them on par with said Rolls Royce and to my joy their EXECUTIVE 500GB Portable Hard Drive arrived on my desk. As sad as it seems, I was positively excited. Neatly wrapped in a space-saving packaging which indicated the speed injection over previous incarnations of the executive range by employing super speedy USB 3.0 (ten times faster than USB 2.0).

Great! But even greater if I had a USB 3.0 port to try it out. No matter, at least the Verbatim drive is future poof. A good move offering the next generation of data transfer and an indicator that the format will become universal very soon.

It’s closer to the high-end of the price range but worth every penny -  the 500GB version retails for around £80 and looks very swish (as you would expect with “EXECUTIVE” in the title). Dressed with simple styling and smooth curves in a graphite grey enclosure, it wouldn’t look out of place next to a top-of-the-range laptop in a five-star hotel lobby.

It certainly looks the part and is, undoubtedly, a classy looking enclosure. It is slim line, being not much bigger than a modern smartphone, and small enough to fit inside a pocket or rucksack. It comes with a soft carry pouch which protects the drive from bumps and scratches.

As the drive doesn’t get very hot when operational, I’ve been keeping it in its travel pouch, which almost renders it invisible to passers-by. Similarly, if you want to show it off, take it out and connect it to your laptop and watch people notice its good looks almost immediately. If you purchase the drive you will be the envy of your colleagues who will stop to ask what it is… all thanks to the circular glowing button which allows one-touch back up. Ordinarily, blue LCD can look trashy. Not so in this case.

Set up is a doddle - just plug and play. Allow seconds for the drive to be recognised by your computer system and you’re away. You can sync documents as well as files, photos, videos or software using the software package which comes with the drive.

There is a staggering 256 Bit Data encryption (with password protection) ensures all your data is secure. Which means if you happen to misplace the drive in your local coffee shop, train, or aeroplane you can rest assured none of your sensitive information will turn up on the internet or, for business professionals, in the hands of the competition. Nice.

For Windows users, there is Nero Backup & Burn essentials software to help manage and organise your backups. The best way of doing this is to back up your data and set Nero to work away in the background,  ‘watching’ the backup folders and automatically update any changes made. This makes sure you don’t ‘forget’ to back anything up and curse the gods of silicon heaven in the process. Just remember to set it up and it will intelligently do the rest without ever having to prompt you to make a decision.

MAC users will find the drive will automatically work with OS X’s Time Machine backup software which comes built in to the system, and as you would expect from Apple works without fault.

I threw everything at the little drive and it fended off small files and big files equally. It is fast running at USB 2.0 and formatted fat 32 partition. Not bad for a 5400 rpm speed! I did want to experience the full USB 3.0 but, at time of writing, we didn’t have a suitable computer to hook it up to. Still, I’m sure it works fine and will be ‘Superfast’ as advertised.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a data storage device, then Verbatim have the perfect pocket-sized drive.

Everyone needs more space to store photos and videos, space will always fill up. It’s small, light and looks quality… the graphite casing is classy and the touch-sensitive button glows with cool blue and looks futuristic.

Looks aside, it is fundamentally a data storage device and one which serves its purpose flawlessly. A large buffer keeps data flowing quickly. Powered from the USB cable, you can take it anywhere, where there’s an available USB port.

Another successful product from a reliable manufacturer who pride themselves on fast and efficient solutions for storage. Full marks.


Portable Hard Drive

256 bit AES Encryption


USB 3.0 (USB 2.0 backward compatible)

Soft Carry pouch

Verbatim Drive protection software

Verbatim Executive Software

Nero Back Up & Burn Essentials Software (Win OS Only)

Time Machine Supported (MAC OS)

Disk Speed: 5400

Data Buffer: 8MB

Operating Systems: Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, MAC OS X 10.4 or Higher, Linux Kernal 2.6 and Higher