A-DATA SH93 Rugged Portable Hard Drive Review

By on December 4, 2009, 4:27 AM
While commonly overlooked, regular backups is one of the most sensible tasks one should perform when it comes to personal computing. Without the help of a secondary storage device or some sort of remote backup strategy, chances of recovering data should your computer's hard drive completely die overnight would be bleak at best.

Reliability and durability should also be taken into account. Portable hard drives are just an accidental drop away from irrecoverable loss, so spending a bit more to ensure data safety is a no-brainer for someone as ham-fisted as myself.

A-DATA has taken it upon themselves to deliver such a product with their new SH93 line, bringing the industry's first waterproof and shock resistant portable hard drive. The SH93 was designed for road warriors who need to take their storage with them on the harshest of environments.

Read the complete review.

User Comments: 45

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Razerblade said:

that is a great idea! I'm always worried about dropping my external hard drive as i have a lot of data on it and would lose a lot of work. The price is quite reasonable for something like this so i think i might be getting myself one! Thanks for the info!

Rapidhic said:

So now we just need a waterproof netbook and we can take all our fun into the sea!

Seriously now, its great for the summer days where you worry about your hd integrity but ..will it be expensive?

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Considering the data transfer rates are slighty above standard (Even better than the cheapo ones), for the water proof, shocking capable, and drop until you get bored of not watching a scrath in it, considering its price is slighty above the cheap ones this is an amazing aquisition for anyone who needs their data secure, even for organizations that need secure and cheap alternatives for secure data backing.

Would really love to see one of those here in Chile.

fref said:

I don't have a need for this because I have a RAID 1 NAS device, plus I don't need to take my data with me, but this hard drive looks nice nonetheless.

Guest said:

"(...) chances of recovering data should your computer's hard drive completely die overnight would be bleak at best."

Something's wrong here

BlackIrish said:

This has a really solid construction, yet it's around $100... I bought mine external drive a few years ago, and it costed a lot more, and it's not even half as portable as this one is!

Also, I get it that this is not USB 3.0?

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I guess if you bring your drive everywhere with you this might be just the protection you need but personally I don't see my external drives being subjected to drops and water.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@JMMD: Of course you don't see it, it's like... seeing you are going to be in a car crash, things just happen when you don't expect them to. Ok, that might have been a bit over dramatic, but still for the price tag it's more than acceptable for avoiding any kind of accident and being more than just shock resistant, water proof, I think that pretty much covers the any kind of accident the hard disk drive could be involved.

Serag said:

Great idea, well protected against any possible damage could happen to an external..

Great performance and a reasonable price tags..

matchu said:

Given the cost, I'm very impressed. THe product itself is solid (literally?) but it even comes at such a competitive price tag. Niceee

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Definitely agree that eSata would have been nice. The next external drive i get will need to support both eSata and USB2 (maybe 3 if i wait long enough), for maximum compatibility/speed.

drasho said:

hehe this could be good for student... ppl in my classs are always droping their external hardrive... after a while they jsut switch to usb key... But this one could last for a while ^_^

aSilva said:

i have dropped my external hd couple of times (seagate 354gb) had it for 2 years and still works... i can see this being good for industries that have computers but not too much for the everyday common people. but that it does look cool.. oh yeah it does... its like a mini bumblebee from transformers...

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

when i was a PC tech, the company i worked was specialized in DATA protection & recovery. i used to tell people that we can change hardware even if it cost, but we can never replace our DATA, so to protect our most valuable & priceless project, holidays pix or dissertation, thank you A-DATA, this is a must buy!


compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

On second though i could have definitely used something like this 5 years ago while doing climate research in the mountains of Wyoming :-)

Puiu Puiu said:

I really like the look, but it would have been better if they also had an e-sata version.

This is really good as a gift for someone clumsy.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Why do these rugged electronics all come in yellow? To match the colour of JCBs?

Docnoq said:

So.. it is super-durable, water-resistant, shock-resistant, and all these other things..but the real question is: is it girlfriend resistant?

ColdPreacher said:

@Docnoq lol all you would need is to encrypt and its everything resistant

saintbodhisatva said:

This is definitely something I wont be needing anytime soon, cool though that it can withstand water. Id still rather use a high capacity USB thumb drive if I need portability. less chance of dropping it in a pool of water as well.

Regenweald said:

I have recently begun doing freelance work and don't have a vehicle so I travel to customers. For 20 dollars extra, the casing on this drive is an invaluable tool for travelling technicians.

lupinnktp said:

1 real piece of HARDware huh? will be hunting for this when it becomes available in Singapore. haha... look nice too!

treeski treeski said:

I'm somewhat surprised that a drive like this hasn't been made available sooner. I know a few people who probably *should* use something like this.

buttus said:

This is some serious protection for critical and mobile data.

levar said:

Oh my! This is quite an intriguing piece of hardware- and its fairly cheap too. Great review I enjoyed reading it.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Why do these rugged electronics all come in yellow? To match the colour of JCBs?

If you drop this on water, that is not very clear and the disk is colored black, good luck fishing for it. If it sudenly drops and you are working in the field, in the mud, snow, a forest or whatever case (I mean common, this is not something to buy for taking it around a library unless it's a pool library :P), would you see a 2,5" black square?

Yes, that's why they come in bright yellow or bright red.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If only something like this came out sooner, I've dropped my external enough times to need something like this. I'm just surprised I've only killed two hard drives in the process both of which I was able to exchange for new ones, gotta love Best Buy and their knowledge less staff. Also the data that was on them at the time wasn't important.

Guest said:

Now if they just used a WD Black edition HD instead of Fujitsu... Oh well, you can't have everything. On second thought, at least they didn't use a Seagate... :-)

Vicenarian said:

That's a fantastic price. I'm going to pick one up for sure. Great for a tech to carry around on the job for backups/etc.

DarKSeeD DarKSeeD said:

Well, I found it in a few stores in my country with a price tag of 130$ for the 500GB and the 250GB it says End Of Life!?. The 640GB is priced even higher - 170$. Anyway it's a "must have", not necessarily the A-Data brand, for the features it offers. Guess the 500GB version from A-Data will be my next acquisition and also my next gift. Thank you for a very well tested - reviewed product!

wcbert said:

That is inexpensive solution glad I do not work where I need one.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

i have an external HDD that i took on a plane with me and the guys who loaded mt luggage broke the case and it was almost completely destroyed but with my good luck the drive still worked i put it back together and found none of the data missing. I just wish it would have been this drive because i had a lot of pictures and the like that i could not replace on that drive i was so worried i had lost them. this is a great product and i for one am thinking i will pick one up

jgvmx said:

Looks very neat and from the description and price is a pretty good deal.

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Since this is plastic, I assume it is not fireproof like some other protected external hard drives, but other than that, it looks like a very solid product (no pun intended). This reminds me of that Toughbook review where they gave it to a tiger, used it as a dart board, and shot it with various firearms.

alexandrionel said:

Probably I will not buy this for the years coming but I just wanted to say that I really like the picture and the colors of the hard drive. My first impression when I saw the picture was: what is that tank? )

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Finally I can go jogging with my hard drive! lol jk Sounds neat, next they should make it fire proof so if any accidents happen at home your information could be recovered.

TechDisciple said:

OMG!!! I must and will get one of does. Their great! can't wait for some other better looking types to come out.

Hyperian said:

Who really need this? this is like water protection for the battery but not the laptop.

Steve Steve said:

Who really need this? this is like water protection for the battery but not the laptop.

I don't understand it is in no way like that?!?!

- You do understand that a portable drive is something you carry right?

- Something you carry is also something you have the potential to drop.

- When dropping something you could do it on a hard surface or in water.

- If you do so with the ADATA SH93 the biggest problem you will face is bending over to pick it up.

- If you do so with a typical portable hard drive chances are you have at the very least damaged the case or worst the hard drive, meaning not only do you now have to bend over to pick it up but you will also face the inconvenience of loosing all your data.

- So to answer your question if you have the foresight to know that you are never ever going to drop, bump or knock your portable hard drive then NO you don't need the ADATA SH93, but for everyone else who is not clairvoyant the ADATA SH93 is a pretty cool idea.

Guest said:

bought this yesterday here in toronto canada for $99 (500 gigs at canada computers) formated it to wbfs to use as a uloader for my wii and am loving it.it's so small like a wallet and looks cool as well.

comm said:

I took this backpacking with me for 4 months. From South Korean winter @ 10 below zero to Philippines spring 100+ degrees F. It survived salt water, getting dropped, rain, 100% humidity, sand, snow, getting frozen (literally ice frozen to it), and 7000+ft altitudes. Not to mention it was in a back pack getting shaken harder than a San Francisco martini the entire time.

Not to mention I plugged it into dozens of hostel and cafe computers with more OS's than I can count and it worked on EVERY one of them.

No data lost, no issues at all. I cant even begin to describe how much I would recommend this.

Guest said:

I buy one like this - 500 gB, I copied around 5 gB on it and the device stopped working, it lost its partition, must format it and lose all data. Maybe nice outside, but **** inside.

Steve Steve said:

I buy one like this - 500 gB, I copied around 5 gB on it and the device stopped working, it lost its partition, must format it and lose all data. Maybe nice outside, but **** inside.

I still use our review sample all the time, I treat it like **** and its works perfectly. One of the most durable and rugged external drives I have ever owned.

Guest said:

@Guest, @Steve - I know this is responding to an old review, but I'm getting these things dropping like flies after about 6 months at two different sites who are using them for server backups. I've switched to Seagate Expansion which are proving to be a lot more reliable. I'm getting the same kind of drama as @Guest - after couple of backups they drop their formatting completely, WBADMIN won't recognise them and it's time to delete the partition and re-add them to the backup set.

Guest said:

My adata SH93 is so incedebly SLOW I hardly use it, even formatting it will take hours, putting 8GB on it, hours, i am sorry to say but even an old pata100 drive in an external housing is way faster than this adata **** :'(

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