by Mike Kowalski

Verbatim CLON Review (320GB)

The Verbatim CLŌN was announced in January 2010 among a pack of new external backup products from Verbatim. The CLŌN features a small size (4.54” x 2.99” x 0.59”) and user-friendly features to make it a no-nonsense portable backup solution.

The Verbatim CLŌN is available in three capacities: 250GB, 320GB and 500GB.  Our review model is the 320GB model.  Inside the case is a Western Digital Scorpio Blue 5400 RPM drive.

Operating an external USB drive is pretty old hat to pretty much everyone now - simply plug in the cable to your computer, let your operating system detect the drive, and you're ready to go.  The CLON is powered only over USB, so there is just a single cable. 

The drive is very quiet as well - you won't hear any clicking or grinding when it is sitting beside your computer.

Design and Build

The CLON features a scuff and fingerprint resistant black plastic case.  Essentially, this means that the case is just not glossy plastic.  It's a pretty simple case - black all over, with an "etched" Verbatim logo on one end, the USB port on one side and a single LED on the other side to indicate drive status.  The LED stays solid blue when powered on and flashes during drive activity.

The case of the CLON can be carefully pulled/pried apart into two halves - just go slowly so you don't break the plastic clips holding the case together.  Verbatim states that the drive is also shock resistant - this is achieved by two rubber strips that are adhered to each side of the case.  This keeps the drive inside from shaking around in the case.

As far as durability, the case will definitely resist scuffs and fingerprints.  However, because the case simply clips together, it is possible that the case would pop open upon impact with a hard surface. 

Benchmarks 

The Western Digital Scorpio Blue inside the case of the CLŌN is a 5400 RPM drive, which is fast enough to push the USB 2.0 connection to its limit.  Results from our testing and benchmarks put the CLŌN neck and neck with other USB 2.0 drives that we've reviewed recently.

Moving on to some benchmarks that utilize random transfers (instead of sequential transfers in charts above), the CLŌN is right in the middle of the pack on read times, and slightly slower in write times.

The smaller 4K transfer size is where the Verbatim CLŌN outperforms the other compared drives (although they're all different capacities).

Added Features

The Verbatim CLON ships with Nero BackItUp 4 backup software.  This software lets you schedule and manage your backups.  Make sure you do not delete the installation software from the drive as there is no way for them to provide a replacement.  This happened to us and we weren't able to get any help from Verbatim support or Nero.

Warranty

The Verbatim CLŌN has a seven (7) year liimited warranty, which is much longer than the standard for this segment.  If your device is defective within the warranty period, they will repair or replace.  They are not liable for any data loss (which is pretty typical).

Pros

  • Compact and simple drive
  • The case is fingerprint and scuff resistant
  • Solid performance and good value

Cons

  • Drive is not flashy and lacking a bit in style (but it is fingerprint resistant)
  • No way to get copy of software that ships with the drive if you delete it

Bottom Line

The Verbatim CLŌN is a good value as far as external USB drives go.  You won't win any style contests with it, but on the other hand, it won't get marred and scratched while it rides along in your bag (or if it does, you won't really care).  The compact size and quiet operation are it's strong points and the performance is right where it needs to be to compete with similar products.

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