If computer hardware could spoon, this is what it would look like.
Iomega’s Mac Companion hard drive has a case shaped exactly like the base of the iMac and Apple’s latest displays. It nestles there right under the screen’s “chin,” conforming perfectly to the curves of the base, but leaving enough room for the screen to comfortably swing forward and aft on its hinge.
It’s a 2TB drive, so it practically begs to be used as a Time Machine backup. I partitioned my tester, setting up a little more than half of the space to serve as a Time Machine drive (tweaking my settings with Time Machine Editor) on my iMac with 1TB of internal storage. The rest was used as extra storage.
The drive connects either via USB 2.0 or via FireWire. You get faster transfer speeds with the FireWire 800 connection, but using the USB cable instead yields some nice extras. The drive also acts as a USB hub, so even though you’re taking up a USB port on the back of your computer, you get two more ports on the back of the drive. Furthermore, there’s an additional 2.1 amp “sync and charge” port on the side of the drive where you can plug in an iPhone or an iPad. I had some difficulty getting my iPad to sync properly when plugged into the “sync and charge” port, though the extra port had no problems charging my tablet.
Iomega ships the Mac Companion’s 7,200rpm, 3.5-inch hard drive formatted as a Mac-native HFS+ drive, but of course it can be easily reformatted if you have a Windows PC. The drive doesn’t ship with any protection or management software, but you can download some for free from Iomega with proof of purchase (No, thanks).
It’s a bummer the drive’s sync/charge USB port doesn’t work when it’s connected over FireWire 800, but such is the nature of devices with dual busses.
The bigger bummer is that you’ll pay out the nose for it — about $230 for 2TB. You can buy the same amount of storage for less than half that price if you look at other products, though you won’t get the extra USB features. Still, for the Mac owners who love the hardware’s clean lines, paying a premium for the form-fitting design may be a non-issue.
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