We'd never recommend this device based on its name. Vox External Hard Drive USB 2.0 & SATA V1 (Vox V1) is probably the least enticing name we've seen on an external hard drive. However, we looked past that and actually liked the drive a lot for its great performance. So far, it's the fastest USB 2.0 external hard drive we've tested. The drive also has an e-SATA connector, which potentially yields even higher throughput rate. We wish its bundled backup software were more robust and--most importantly--that it functioned as expected. Nonetheless, at $180 for the 750GB version, the V1 will make a nice expansion to your computer's storage. However, if you are looking for a backup solution right out of the box for about the same price, we'd recommend the Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus.
|Drive type||External hard drive|
|Connector options||USB 2.0; e-SATA|
|Available capacities||250GB, 500GB, 750GB|
|Capacity of test unit (if applicable)||750GB|
|Dimensions (LWH)||12.5x10x3.5 inches|
|Notable design features||One-touch backup button|
|OSes supported||Windows XP, Vista; Mac OS9, X|
|Service and support||1-year warranty; e-mail support. Vox's Web site includes FAQs, user guides, and data sheets|
The Vox V1 comes in three versions: 250GB ($80), 500GB ($119), and 750GB; the last is the one we evaluated. All of them have a simple design that looks like a brick, yet are still stylish with the black sturdy aluminum casing and the blue status light on the front. All of its ports, which include USB 2.0 and e-SATA, are on the back together with the power switch. The front status light also works as a button that activates the included backup software.
Included in the box are the drive, the power supply, USB and e-SATA cables, a short manual, and a software CD. That's more than enough to get you started. As with most USB external hard drives, if you run Windows 2000 or later, you just have to plug it in and the system will recognize the drive. That was also the case on the Vox V1. We had no problem hooking it up to our Windows XP system. However, if you run Windows 98, you will need to install the driver provided on the included CD first before you can hook the device to your computer. According to Vox, the drive works also with Apple computers running OS 9 or later.
The CD also contains a backup application, iniBackup, that works with the button on the front of the device (much like the OneTouch button in the Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus). However, we found the software sloppy at best. The incoherent interface looks as if it's a mock-up of an application that's still under development. It took us a while to do one manual backup job, which worked very much like Windows' drag-and-drop copy function, and then created the scheduled backup job. However, the scheduled job didn't run at the specified time. There is also inconsistency between the manual and the software. For example, the manual mentions (with illustrations) the security feature that lets you protect the drive with a password; however, the software (version 1.17) doesn't seem to have this feature,one of several missing from iniBackup. In short, you'd be better off using third-party software such as Acronis True Image if you want to use the Vox V1 as a reliable backup solution. Alternatively, you can use the drive without its backup software.