Just recently we reviewed the A-DATA SH93 portable hard drive which featured a rugged design said to be both shock resistant and water proof -- within reason anyway. After abusing it for a few days the SH93 lived up to all our expectations with flying colors, surviving multiple drops onto a hard surface from up to 4 feet high, and being submerged into the kitchen sink for half an hour with no damage to the drive's contents whatsoever.

But as it is often the case with technology, there were a few minor trade-offs to be made. The biggest gripe we had was with the supplied USB cable that wrapped around the SH93 when not in use. Although it was added for convenience, we were annoyed with how clumsy and difficult it was to reattach this cable to the enclosure.

We weren't thrilled with its rather bulky design either, at least when compared to a typical 2.5-inch portable hard drive. Understandably that was an unavoidable consequence of the SH93's ruggedness. All in all, at around $120 for the 500GB version, we considered the A-DATA SH93 to be a very good buy.

Today we have another rugged portable hard drive that looks to improve on some of those issues we had with the A-DATA SH93. Known as the Hitachi SimpleTough, this 500GB portable hard drive is a similarly priced offering meant to withstand even more punishment than the A-DATA drive.

According to the drive's specs, the SimpleTough portable drive can withstand a ten foot drop, and more impressively it can handle the pressure of a one-ton truck (see our durability testing for more).

We are confident, or at least hopeful, these are not scenarios you'll be faced with. Even if for some reason a car was to run over your drive you should always have a backup strategy for important files. That said, carrying a hard-wearing portable hard drive like the Hitachi SimpleTough will ensure that if things get a little rough, you will not have to go though the inconvenience of data loss. Read on.