CMS Products has done it again. The ABSmini is an external USB 2.0 backup drive that fits in a shirt pocket or the palm of one’s hand. The review unit has a storage capacity of 40 GB, although 20 GB and 60 GB units are also available. A small vinyl tote bag protects it from scratches if you were to carry it in your laptop bag or briefcase.
No external power is required, but a second USB plug is provided if you need to get extra power from your PC or powered hub. I did not need one while using the ABSmini with my desktop PC. The installation CD-ROM is in the CD Mini form factor, which could be a problem if you have one of those rare “slot” drives (as opposed to the usual “tray” type). The CD-ROM includes installation guides for the drive and the software.
The drive works with Windows 98 through Windows XP and Macintosh OS X 10.2.6 or greater. The copy2go-Xpress software requires Windows 2000 or XP.
I was wondering why one would want such a small backup drive, but having just been “upgraded” at work from a desktop to a miniature Dell notebook, I could see the convenience of carrying the ABSmini in the same computer bag.
copy2go-Xpress is a special search and copy program for managing photo, music and video files. It will find all such files on your PC and then present them for you to transfer to the ABSmini for backup or to a portable device such as an MP3 player or digital camera. Most of the common file extensions are handled.
I mentioned BounceBack Express in the recent review of ABS-Backup – it is the backup and restore software that is bundled with the drive. For my test I backed up my entire PC, which amounted to 19.1 GB of files. This took only 1.5 hours and the backup speed was 219 MB per minute over the USB2 connection. It seems not that long ago when I used backup tape and it took hours to back up a lot less.
For more information, please visit the CMS Products Inc Web site: http://www.cmsproducts.com. The local distributor is Elantra: http://www.elantra.com.au and pricing starts at $385.