When a product promises to hold up to almost anything it really is hard to come up with the best way to put that to the test. I found myself stuck on this review for some time trying to come up with the best way to put their claims to the test. I landed on our standard performance test then parking my car on top of the Rugged Portable. Let’s take a look at its performance.
As you can see with a read and write speed of 120 MB/s this drive performs well above what you could expect with USB 2.0. Having said that, even before I tested the drive I was disappointed they went with a 5400 RPM hard drive that wouldn’t take advantage of the performance of USB 3.0 as much as a 7200 RPM or SSD would. After seeing the numbers my concern isn’t as great because 120MB/s is more than enough for every day tests and not to bad for backing up large amounts of data as well. Having said that, more is always better. You CAN pick up an SSD version under the name Rugged Portable SSD (a little obvious isn’t it) but you are out of luck if you want a 7200 RPM hard drive. This may be a limitation of the hard drives water proof design but in all of our testing we never noticed the Rugged Portable getting hot at all.
So what kind of protection can you expect from the Rugged Portable and what should you avoid? There are two different versions of the Rugged Portable that will give you different protection levels. There is Titanium case and an Aluminum case. For our testing we are using the aluminum case. The first thing both shells get you is a level of crush protection. The Aluminum case coming in at 2500 pounds and the Titanium 5000 pounds.
Beyond just crush protection you also have a case that is water proof up to 10 feet in the aluminum version and 30 feet with the titanium. What is most interesting about this to me is that the drive does not require a rubber plug in the USB port for it to be water proof. In fact it will still be protected if it is plugged in when it goes under water, although I don’t know if I would trust my USB cable to not short out as well because even though the drive is protected it would suck to fry a motherboard. Of course, I would take the hardware loss over data loss any day! To go along with the drive being water proof, it is also chemical resistant meaning if you dropped it into jet fuel you wouldn’t have issues as well.
ioSafe is quick to point out that the drive is what they call EnviroSafe, meaning you don’t have to worry about dust and dirt damaging the drive. Specifically you can actually leave the drive in blowing sand, blowing dust, rain, salt fog, icing or freezing rain as well as UV protection. This combined with the ability to run it in high altitudes (15K ft. (Alum.) and 30K ft. (SSD and Ti.)) mean you can use this drive in any conditions. I imagine this drive would be perfect for a BAJA racing for example with all of its protections.
For our testing we are going to pull a 1999 Dodge Stratus onto the Rugged Portable. The Stratus weighs around 3050 pounds with an additional 335 pounds of my weight on top of that for a total of 3400. Assuming around 70% of the cars weight is in the front we have 2380 on the front tires or 1190 per front tire. This is just an estimate and also doesn’t take into account that my body’s weight is on the driver’s side also. By placing the driver side front tire on the car we put around 1200 pounds in force on the top of the Rugged Portable, still half of what it is rated at but the highest weight we could put together at the time. As you can see from the photos and the aftermath the drive help up great. Beyond the tire print on top that cleaned right off, the only damage to the enclosure at all was a few small dents on the underside from my garage floor.