When it comes to Memory solutions, ADATA is a well-known brand famous for their all-around coverage of the market with different solutions that start from budget-conscious segment to as high as enthusiast segment. Backed by technical expertise, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, and premium customer service, ADATA offers complete memory solutions including DRAM modules, USB flash drives, memory cards, solid state drives and portable hard drives. Xtreme Performance Gear (XPG) was founded by ADATA and is dedicated to providing high-performance products for gamers, e-sport pros, and tech enthusiasts. Every XPG-branded product surpasses stringent ADATA A+ testing methodology, which ensures the highest standards for superior product stability and ultra-high performance. Not only does the XPG line sport solid technical features, its strength shines through with sheer cool designs that have earned prestigious accolades worldwide such as Good Design from Japan and Taiwan Excellence Gold Award. XPG delivers extreme gaming experiences to help gamers make every moment exciting. Comprised of two separate parts, the XPG symbol draws on the infinite power of the “energy storm”. An energy vortex full of positive power is at the center of the symbol, demonstrating XPG’s dedication to creating top-level eSports gears for all gamers’ needs. The outer edge represents Poseidon’s Trident, symbolizing aggressive fighting power and expressing XPG’s willingness to fight through challenges and break free of limitations.

ADATA has sent us their HD710Pro external storage drive for the review. These drives are available in multiple storage capacities up to 5TB and in multiple colors. These enclosures are using 2.5” Disk Drive and the main selling feature of these portable drives is the safety. These drives have been rated for IP68 making them dust and waterproof making these drives ideal for frequent travelers, content creators to name a few. This drive also features triple-layered protective construction to pass military grade shock proofing. Clearly, we needed to test this drive not only for the data transfer speeds but also the strength to endure the fall, sink, and vibration.

  • Product:            HD710Pro External USB Hard Drive
  • Manufacturer:   ADATA
  • Price:                $64.95/- At the time of the review

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The drive is shipped in a white color cardboard box. The front side has a transparent section showcasing the drive itself. ADATA brand name and logo are printed on the top left area. Model and category of the drive are printed on the right side followed by the capacity of the drive which in our case is 1TB. There are three information labels printed on the lower right side mentioning the Military Grade Shock Proofing and IP68 ratings. The backside of the box has ADATA brand name and logo printed on the top left area. Model and category of the drive are printed on the top right. Specifications of the drive are printed in 9 different languages followed by External USB 3.1 HDD printed in 22 different languages. Drive is made in Taiwan. The left and right sides are identical. ADATA HD710 Pro 2.5” External HDD are printed on the left area. There are 7 information labels printed on the right. These drives carry 3 years of limited warranty and are USB 3.1 ready with backward compatibility to USB 2.0. ADATA is also providing HDDtoGO and OStoGO software bundles that can be downloaded from their website with these drives. The top side of the packing box has ADATA printed in the enlarged, blue color font in the center. There is a serial no sticker pasted on it as well. Compliance information to various regulations is printed on the bottom side of the packing box. Opening the box would show a transparent heard container that needs to be pulled out of the box. The drive is placed inside this container.

 

Contents

Following are the contents of the box:

  • 1x 2.5” External Drive
  • USB 3.1 Cable
  • 1x Quick Start Guide

Closer Look

HD710 Pro is an external hard disk drive solution available in multiple storage capacities ranging up to 5TB max. They are available in multiple colors namely yellow, blue, red and black. 4TB and 5TB versions are available in black color only. Here is what ADATA is saying about it, “The HD710 Pro takes external hard drive durability further. We test it to beyond IP68 dust and waterproof standards, plus make sure it passes military-grade shock proofing with triple-layered protective construction. With up to 5TB capacity, this master of storage survival is your ally in keeping content safe whether your flavor is diving, hiking, biking, or simply taking a quick stroll.”

ADATA with these drives is trying to achieve two objectives; performance and safety. The disk drives are prone to damage coming from shock, accidental fall etc. These have been are still are the major concerns for the HDD users. Though Solid State Drives have remedied these factors their pricing alone make them out of reach of many particularly in higher capacities which makes the case for HDD strong. A more common trend is using the combination of SSD and HDD. External drives using the mechanical disk drives are also prone to such failures. ADATA’s approach here is to provide the maximum level of safety from three main aspects; dust, water, and shock. Plus, they are using USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface with a speed of up to 5Gbp/s which is also backward compatible with USB 2.0. Let’s take a look at the drive itself.

 

The drive has tough silicon shell on the top. This silicon cover is available in four colors as mentioned above which are yellow, red, blue, and black. 4TB and 5TB drives are only available in the black color shell. The dimension of the drive is 133.3×98.5×21.5mm for 1TB versions and 133.3×98.5×26.7mm for above 1TB versions. The tough silicon shell is the first layer of protection to prevent shock from trickling down to the drive itself. This shell has raised layers which are in multiple colors. The central portion has black carbon paper wrap which does look good in person. The sides of the outer shell have raised tabs with grooves or insets inside. They are effectively forming cable channel. These drives come with an effective cable management solution. USB 3.1 cable is tucked inside this channel around the drive’s outer shell. ADATA is printed in white color near the USB port side on the outer shell. There is an LED under the hardcover below the ADATA branding. This is indicator LED in blue color. If there is static blue light on it that would mean the drive is powered up. Blinking blue LED would mean data transfer is in progress. Flashing red light would mean shock sensor is active and detecting shock. Continuous static red light would mean there is a disk error. ADATA has built a shock sensor in this drive which would detect any potential shock and immediately stop the drive to prevent any fatal damage. Once the shock is resolved, activity will be resumed and the LED indicator will change the color to show its present status.

There is a sticker pasted on the backside of the drive showing its part no and model no. Made in Taiwan is printed as well.  One end of the drive has rounded design whereas the other end with USB port has a straight design. The USB port has a hardcover on it which can be taken off to plug in the cable. This cover serves to protect the port from dust and water and needs to be properly placed on the port. This cover once off seems pretty loose and gives the impression that I may come off though it did not produce any such experience. As mentioned above, this drive has a triple-layered design to provide maximum protection. The outer layer has a tough silicon shell for anti-vibration. The middle layer is made of a tough plastic shell that is closer to the drive. The third layer is a tough silicon on the borders of the drive. The main objective is to achieve IP68 rating for these drives. The IP code is a two digit code that classifies the given device with respect to the level of intrusion from environmental factors like dust, water etc. These codes are published by the IEC which stands for International Electrotechnical Commission. They are usually two digit codes but can be three digits followed by an additional character. The first digit has a range from 0 to 6 and indicates the level of protection from solid particles. The second digit ranges from 0 to 9 and indicates the level of protection from liquid ingress. Each number or level has its corresponding description for more accurate information on the protection and needs to be taken into the consideration accordingly. Since IP is not the topic of this content, I will not be going into much detail except to focus on the IP68 that these drives are rated at. IP6x indicates the highest level of protection from the dust particularly dust ingress hence it is dust tight. It means no solid particle will enter the drive during the operation of up to 8 on air flow. This is the highest possible rating that any device can achieve and ADATA has provided ultimate protection to their consumers. The second digit is IPx8 which is showing the protection from the liquid. 8 is the second highest number in the list of rating with a level of depth tested as specified by the manufacturer though the standard is for the 1m. ADATA has specified that they have tested these drives for 60 minutes in 2m depth of the water. This is too good a protection level one could have in this price range for this category of the products. Please, note that this protection will only apply when the USB port is properly sealed using the supplied cover. ADATA have tested the drives using US Army MIL-STD-810G 516.6 meaning that the drive can survive a fall from 1.5m.

Software

ADATA has offered software with these drives downloadable from their website. These are HDDtoGO and OStoGO. HDDtoGO is feature rich software that allows the user to keep their updated data all the time while on the go. Salient features of the software are:-

  • Keep your Internet Explorer Favorites/Firefox Bookmarks synchronized.
  • Keep your Outlook Express/Windows Mail data portable.
  • Keep your Microsoft Office Outlook data synchronized.
  • Keep your Folders, Desktop and My Documents data synchronized.
  • Compress your data to save valuable storage space.
  • Password protect / (encrypt) all the data on your portable storage device.
  • Surf the internet without leaving a trace behind with Internet Explorer and Firefox.
  • In case you lose your portable storage device, the finder can contact you just by using the USB Drive Lost & Found™ information.

When you will install the software, it will create some folders in the HD710 Pro drive along with the executable HDDtoGO program file. These folders will be used to sync with the folders PC.

The main interface shows the name of the software on the top left and minimize and close button options on the right. The left side of the interface pane has 9 functions that will remain available at all the time to the user. The bottom pane of the main interface will show the total storage capacity and the used space of the connected drive. There are multiple languages available in the drop down menu as per the user’s region/country. There is a ? button to access the help about the software and Sync All button to sync all the folders and favorites on the source and target drives. Exit button will close the application. In Internet Option, the user can sync the favorites from the PC to the drive and vice versa. Safe Login is used to save the login credentials of websites for speedy access. No Trace Browsing lets the user activate this feature and delete all the history on the browsers right before closing the current session. Microsoft Outlook will let you convert the Outlook emails in a portable format so that you can easily access them while on the go. Same goes for the Windows Mail. File Synchronization allows to users to map the folders on the PC drive to the drive’s folders and sync them to have updated content on both sides. There are buttons with left arrow, right arrow and both arrows which indicate the target of the sync operation. The left arrow will update or create folder/file on the PC. The right arrow will do the same on the drive. Button with both arrows sync the files/folders on both sides i.e PC and the portable drive by creating or updating the missing contents. PC Lock feature will let the user lock the PC for the given period of time. The user has the option to create a slideshow or a picture to be displayed during the lockdown. If the user wants to unlock the PC before the given time then that can be done by re-inserting the drive. Security Settings will let the user create a password to access the drive. If you choose to password protect your device, HDDtoGO will encrypt the “Personal Data” folder on your portable storage device. Other data that are stored on the Device but are not synchronized with HDDtoGO will remain unencrypted. Settings menu will allow the user to change settings so that HDDtoGO would run automatically as soon as the drive is connected to the PC. There are Sync All related settings as well that would allow the users to select/deselect the folders to be synced using Sync All. The user can also set the Sync option to run automatically at a given interval effective from the given starting date. Device Information shows the basic info of the connected drive and the software. USB Device Lost & Found is a handy feature. The user can save the contact info on the drive in case it is lost. The founder can see the contact info of the user can contact the user about the found drive. The password protected files and folders will not be visible to the founder. There is a comprehensive user manual available on their site on how to use HDDtoGO to take full advantage of the software.

Testing

Following testing has been performed on this drive:

  • Data Transfer Speed
  • Drop/Free Fall Test
  • Water Submerging Test
  • Vibration Test

Before the endurance tests were made, a scan of the disk sectors was made using the HD Tune Pro software. Scans were repeated after every endurance test. I copied 90GB of data with mixed files and folders to the drive.

I have tested this drive on the X99 platform. The test bench setup is as follow:

  • Intel i7 6850k
  • Asus Rampage V Edition 10
  • Ballistix Elite 4x4GB 3000MHz DDR4
  • Alphacool Eisbaer 360 LT
  • Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD [OS Drive]
  • Seagate 2TB Barracuda
  • Nvidia GTX 1080 FE
  • Corsair AX1200i

To test the drive’s read and write speeds, we have used following software running on Microsoft Windows 10 x64 build version 16299:

  • ATTO Disk Benchmark 3.05
  • CrystalDiskMark 6

Let’s take a look at the results.

Below is a picture of the actual data transfer rate while copying 90GB of data to the drive.

Crystal Disk Mark has resulted in sequential read to be 142.1 MB/s. The tested sequential write speed was 143.3MB/s.

Next, we ran the ATTO Disk Benchmark to test the drive’s performance. On the transfer length of 256MB (Not default) with a complete range of transfer size, the read speed started to cross 120MB/s mark from 8KB transfer size. The drive manages to achieve 161MB/s read speed and 132MB/s write speed (the maximum values).

Fall/Drop Test

The drive was tested for free fall from 3 feet and 5 feet (approximately) respectively. Here is a picture of the scan test before the endurance tests.

Here are two short videos recorded to show the free fall of the drive on the solid floor.

Both the drop tests were carried out consecutively. After that drive was connected to the PC and voila. It was detected and was found working perfectly fine. Here is the picture of the sector scan test after these tests.

Water Submerging Test

I simply used a small size bathtub filled with plain tap water only. The drive’s USB port was properly closed using the cover before immersion. The drive was not sinking but floating on the water surface. It was left there for almost a minute or so. After taking it out, I cleaned the drive with the towel and connected it to the PC. It was detected and worked properly. Here is a video:

Here is a picture of the disk sectors scan after water test.

Shock Test

I wanted to test the drive by simulating high-frequency vibration to see its behavior. While I was preparing for this test and PC was one with the drive connected, earthquake shock of magnitude 4.0 on the rector scale happened. The drive continues to work during that shock. I have used the Android app Vibrate from Tree Team on Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge to produce the continuous vibration of 1000ms. The mobile phone was placed right on top of the drive while it was connected to the PC and data was being copied. Mobile was kept on it for like 2 minutes and during that period the drive remains active and completed the data copying task. I was expecting that red light would come on and disk will be closed but this was not the case as the disk was still operational. Seems like this level of vibration did not have that intensity to trigger the sensor alert.

Conclusion

ADATA HD710 Pro is a portable external 2.5” HDD available in multiple capacities starting from 1TB and going up to 5TB. These drives are available in multiple colors for pleasant looks. These colors are Yellow, Red, Blue, and Black. 4TB and 5TB are only available in black color. The dimension of the drive is 133.3×98.5×21.5mm for 1TB versions and 133.3×98.5×26.7mm for above 1TB versions. These drives operate at 5VDC using 900mA. Their operating temperature range is 5°C to 50°C. These drives are using USB 3.1 interface up to 5 Gbps speed and compatible with USB 2.0. Operating System support includes all major Windows, Linux Kernel 2.6 or later, and Mac OS X 10.6 or later. Dual USB 2.0 ports would be required if these drives are to be connected to the USB 2.0 interface for which USB Y cable needs to be purchased separately. The weight of 1TB drive is 270g and above 1TB drives weight 390g.

The main differentiating factor of these drives is the IP68 rating. 6 in IP68 is the highest possible rating for dust protection making these drives to be dustproof (not dust resistant). 8 in IP68 is the second highest rating for protection from liquid immersion. ADATA has specified that they have tested these drives for 60 minutes in 2m depth. This is above the specification for IPx8. Please, note that this protection will only apply when the USB port is properly sealed using the supplied cover. In addition to this rating, these drives feature shock sensor which would close the drive in case shock is sensed. There is an LED indicator for all such activity and visual aid to the user. Continuous blue light on this LED means the device is powered up and fine. Blinking blue LED would mean data transfer is happening. Continuous red light would mean shock is sensed and the disk is closed to safeguard the data. Blinking red light would mean there is some disk error. When shock will be over the disk will resume. ADATA have tested the drives using US Army MIL-STD-810G 516.6 meaning that the drive can survive a fall from 1.5m. To achieve this ultimate level of protection, ADATA has used triple-layered protective covering. The outer shell is made of Anti-Shock tough silicon. Middle lay is tough plastic and the third layer is a tough silicon on the borders of the disk itself. The USB port is also covered with a removable cover which has quite a convenient handling mechanism. To make things further elaborative there is a cable routing/management channel on the three sides of the outer shell which carries USB 3.1 cable. The user is freed from any hassle in handling the cable.

ADATA is offering HDDtoGO and OStoGO software with these drives. These can be downloaded from their website. The HDDtoGO is comprehensive software offering lot of features that allow the users to make the contents of the drive password protected (encrypted) to safeguard the data in case the drive is lost. There is also a feature of Lost and Found which allows the founder of the drive to contact the owner using the contact info saved on the drive using the software. The user can compress the data to save precious space on the disk. This software allows the users to convert their emails into a portable format and saved to the disk so that they can be read while on the go. Similarly, this software allows the users to synchronize the contents of the selected folders on the PC and disk. Users also get to synchronize the Favorites from Internet Explorer and can use this software to enjoy trace free browsing as browsing history can be deleted on a single button command. OStoGO assists you to convert Microsoft Windows Vista/7/8 Setup DVD to your USB Storage Device (e.g. USB Flash Drive, External USB Hard Drive, or SSD with USB port). Then you can install Microsoft O.S. via USB Booting instead of DVD Booting. OStoGO is an alternative solution to install OS for PCs and laptops without optical drives and it is compatible with Win XP/Vista/7/8.

The HD710 Pro 1TB is rated at $64.95 and ADATA is offering 3 years of limited warranty on these drives. In my testing, this drive was transferring data up to 140MB/s. This drive has passed our drop/fall test, water immersion test, and vibration test. Drive was working fine after each test. Copied data was integral and there was no disk error as reported by the scan. Somehow, I could not figure out if the disk was supposed to continue working during the vibration test as I was expecting the sensor to close the disk to safeguard the data or it could be that this magnitude of the vibration was not enough to trigger the sensor. Whatever the case is, the data set was working fine and I was able to access pictures, media files, graph files etc without any corruption and disk error scan did not report any issue. ADATA is offering 3 years limited warranty on these drives making them to be one heck of a deal. The drive was operating near 44C during the testing and usage. This is with ambient temperature of 36C.

We are thankful to the ADATA for giving us the opportunity to review their HD710 Pro 1TB 2.5” HDD External USB Drive.