FireLite Xpress

FireLite Xpress

This drive's always-on LCD has a 158-by-120-pixel area for text.


The FireLite Xpress portable hard drive has an LCD that displays the contents of the drive, but the drive doesn't just check the file or folder names and display them; you have to launch the FireLite Xpress Notepad application and type in the list of files. To preserve your privacy, you probably don't want the drive to automatically display a file list - but it would've been nice to have a choice. You can type in any text you want (maybe a generic name for your files, like December 2006 MacAddict Reviews), and you can even draw simple sticklike drawings.


The LCD also displays helpful information on available capacity - but it's only helpful if the drive is formatted in Windows' FAT32 (which the Mac can read and write). When formatted using the version of Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format, the capacity and free space on the LCD read 0GB, even when we had 8GB of files on the drive.


Since the FireLite Xpress is USB only, we weren't expecting a speedy drive. Using Xbench (free, to gauge the drive's speed, we got results of 11MB per second on Xbench's Sequential Uncached Write and Sequential Uncached Read tests, which is about what we expected. Not bad - but not great, either.


The bottom line. The FireLite Xpress is a likable drive, if you can live with its quirks. - Roman Loyola

COMPANY: SmartDisk
CONTACT: 239-425-4000,
PRICE: $179.99 (60GB, tested), $299.99 (120GB)
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.2 or later, USB
Helpful LCD display. Bus powered.
LCD text must be updated manually. LCD status doesn't work with Mac formatting.





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