Formatted for Macs, enclosed in an aluminium casing, the SureFire hard drive is an inexpensive hard drive for people on the go. It’s smaller than the Seagate FreeAgent Go FireWire drive and comes with a full set of cables.
In Europe, the SureFire is sold for approximately 105.00 Euros. For that money you don’t just get a 320 GB drive (there’s a 500 GB version as well) but also a protective carrying case in padded vinyl. The carrying case adds to the drive’s size, but may absorb shocks better than the aluminium enclosure. The aluminium enclosure itself is buffered at the front and sides with a sort of rubberised material that is –as far as I can tell– not shock-absorbing but mainly meant to prevent the drive from slipping out of your hands.
The SureFire is small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. I’m sure you have read that before, but in this case it’s true, although the weight of the drive isn’t something I would like to carry around in my shirt pocket at all…
The drive can be powered from a USB power cable or from the FireWire 800 cable. The cables that come with the drive are short, but they are –truly exceptional these days– sturdy and robust. Apparently, Verbatim decided it is best to add short cables that aren’t flimsy rather than the 180 cm long cables that live for only a week or two.
Performance wise the SureFire did a lot better than the Seagate FreeAgent Go. For starters, the drive launches much quicker on the desktop. The SureFire may lack the psychedelic LED show the FreeAgent offers, but it mounted about twice as fast on my Mac Mini. It also did better in the copy test. I copied the exact same files to the FreeAgent and the SureFire, and the latter was finished one third of the time faster (tests were done with FireWire 800).
Design wise, the SureFire is perhaps less special than the FreeAgent Go, but it looks good, with enough care for sturdiness and a LED that is just big enough to clearly see when the drive has power, discoloring when the drive is active.
If you need a truly portable drive that performs well for your Mac, the Verbatim SureFire is a viable contender.