Objects of Desire: Armor A80

January 10, 2011

By Dan Havlik

If you want a portable drive with more capacity than Lexar’s pair of Echoes but need it to be tough enough to bring on extreme assignments, the Armor A80 from Silicon Power just may be your solution. Though it’s actually a disk-based hard drive—not flash media-based— the Armor A80 is designed to take a beating.

With specs exceeding U.S. Military standards, the A80 can be dunked in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes; dropped on a concrete floor from 4 feet above; and will even withstand the photographer’s most common beverage-related accident: spilled coffee.

In short, this baby is waterproof, shockproof, pressure and vibration proof, and dust-proof. Durability aside, Armor A80 is not a bad little 2.5-inch hard drive in its own right. Compatible with USB 3.0 at a max transfer rate of 5 gigabits per second, the A80 is also friendly with USB 2.0. Capacities include 320 gb, 500 gb and 640 gb and even though it’s constructed to be rough-and-tumble ready, the Armor A80 is a fairly attractive, discreet-looking portable hard drive.

Like the Lexar devices, it comes with its own back-up and security software and no additional drivers are needed to get the drive operational. Unlike the Lexars though, the back-up software is only PC-compatible. Mac users, however, can use Apple’s excellent Time Machine software, which is built into the recent OS X operating system, to back up their work to the Armor A80.

Cost: $159 (for the 320 gb drive)
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