Objects of Desire: Lexar Echo ZE Backup Drive

January 3, 2011

By Dan Havlik

Backing up your images when you’re on the road is such a pain in the butt most people don’t bother doing it. Though cloud storing your work is one way to go when traveling, what if you can’t get on the Web? (This happened to us when Internet access at the hotel we were staying at during photokina went down for the week.)

Equally annoying is carrying around a cumbersome external hard drive that can get easily knocked around in your bag or pack. That’s why we like Lexar’s Echo ZE, an itty-bitty back-up flash drive that plugs into the USB port of your laptop and stays there. While USB thumb drives have been around for some time, the Echo ZE is so small it’s really more of a thumbnail drive. Plus, the capacity is high enough—maximum of 32 gb—to back-up a trove of photos and documents in a pinch.

Once the Echo ZE is plugged in, you might even forget it’s there. Back-up software —which is both Windows and Mac compatible (a rarity)— comes pre-installed in the drive and will automatically archive and encrypt the images and documents of your choice. It also restores previously saved versions of a file to protect against accidentally overwriting or deleting your work.

If 32 gb is too small for your mobile workflow, you might want to consider Lexar’s larger Echo SE line which, while bigger in size than the ZE, has capacities up to 168 gb.

Cost: $139 (32 gb version)
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