Verbatim is positioning itself as a hard drive vendor. Its latest acquisition of Freecom again makes that crystal clear. But even without Freecom's award-winning external hard drive designs, Verbatim external disks are good quality-wise. The Quad-Interface external hard drive even looks good.Verbatim has two versions of the Quad Interface offering: one formatted for Windows and one formatted for Mac OS X. The software included with both versions is the same, though: it will only work on Windows systems, or on virtual Windows machines on an Intel Mac. The drive itself sits in a nice dark grey, almost black metal enclosure with the Verbatim logo discretely painted on each side. The front is a mirror with an activity button that glows blue when the disk is working.
The rear side has two FireWire 800 connectors, one FireWire 400, one USB 2.0, and one eSATA connector. On my disk, one of the FireWire 800 connectors was seated too close to the metal cover, which made it unusable until I pulled it out from its awkward position using a screwdriver. If this happens to you, be very careful, because you must exert just enough force to free the connector without breaking it.
The Verbatim Quad drive comes with a plastic cradle that keeps it upright, and with all cables included. The quality of the cables is worth mentioning, as it was a relief to find good quality cables instead of the rubbish the likes of LaCie throw in their boxes these days. One cable was less well designed, though. The eSATA cable has a connector grip that is too broad to fit into any eSATA port…
The disk drive inside the Verbatim Quad Interface is a Samsung disk. I checked the disk before further testing, and it had no faults, no surface defects. The performance of the disk was a surprise. It performs awfully fast with some tests and awfully slow with others. Especially small files seem to suffer in terms of speed. My guess is that the disk has been optimised for multi-media files.
A very positive experience with the Verbatim Quad Interface was its absolute silence. Even when I put the disk under strain, I could barely hear it. The enclosure seems to lack a ventilator, but even then, the drive continuously feels cool to the touch.
In short, I’m pretty much enthralled with the Verbatim Quad Interface. It’s silent, it’s fast (larger files, anyway) and it can be used with any type of connection currently available on desktop machines. Oh, and it’s dirt cheap at that.