Cirago CST5250 250GB Portable USB Hard Drive 2.5"

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Yesterday I posted a review of a 2.5” hard drive enclosure, today I figured I would follow it with a 2.5” external hard drive review. Today I have the Cirago 250GB Portable USB Hard Drive for review. The CST5250 is one of the smallest 2.5” external hard drives I’ve come across, making it very portable, but portable doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t perform well. The CST5250 is also nicely made, it has a metal housing so it should be able to endure a bit of daily abuse and the metal should help keep it cooler as well.


The packaging for the Cirago CST5250 comes is a rather bright box, with a window in the front so you can see the drive itself.

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Inside we find a fold out piece of paper with instructions etc on it, along with the drive itself, carrying case, driver CD and USB cable.

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The Cirago CST5250 comes in an enclosure that is black metal with a blue plastic strip going around it. The Cirago logo is on the front with a faint stylish design as well. The USB port is located on the back next to the LED indicator.

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Specifications:

Cirago CST5250 250GB Portable USB Hard Drive

Features:
* Slim and compact solution for USB 2.0 Interface
* High Speed USB 2.0 Backwards compatible with 1.1
* Higher Performance Transfers up 480 Mbps
* Plug and Play / Easy to use
* Share any data, image, MP3, MP4, video and more
* Supports PC (Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista), MAC (MAC OS8.6 or above) and Linux
* Active LED Power Indicator
* Aluminum Case for light weight and durability
* Available Sizes: 160GB – 500GB

Specs:
Interface: USB 2.0
Form Factor: 2.5″
Power: USB Bus Power (5V)
Warranty: 3 year
Included Accessories:
-Software CD
-USB cable
-carrying pouch
-Quick Start Guide
-warranty information

Dimension: 3.0’’ x 4.7’’ x 0.35’’

I thought the BlackArmor PS110 2.5” hard drive was small and portable, the Cirago is even smaller. It’s about the same thickness, but is small overall.

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The carrying case is actually nice, it’s a thick cloth material, not sure exactly what the fabric is but it seems as though it will offer a good deal of protection for the HDD inside.

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Of course I had to open the Cirago CST5250 up to see what kind of drive is inside of it. it a Western Digital SATA150 5400RPM with 8mb cache. On a side note, this drive is supposedly the same one that is inside of the new 250gb Xbox360, but that’s only heresy…

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The LED indicator is a very bright blue, you’ll certainly know when there’s power and activity with this drive.

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As sort of a continuation of yesterday’s review, I’ve got the same enclosures compared. Vantec NexStar Vault, HornetTek Travel Plus, Seagate Black Armor and the Vizo Shuttle.

So first up here’s the ATTO DiskBenchmark scoring:

atto-blackarmor atto-cirago atto-hornet atto-vantec atto-vantec vault atto-vizo

According to ATTO, the Cirago is right in line in terms of performance as most of the other enclosures I’ve tested.

Here’s the SiSoft Sandra Removable Storage Benchmark Results:

Sandra-Cirago

According to Sandra, the Cirago doesn’t perform too well does it?

Let’s move on to Diskbench. I used a 349MB .AVI video file for the testing to Copy To and Copy From all of the enclosures.

The first graph here shows the times in seconds it takes to do these tasks. Lower scores are better of course and the graph ordering reference is the Copy To or Write score.

diskbench times-Cirago

It might look like the Cirago drive didn’t do too well, but it’s only a little more than a quarter of a second slower than the fastest enclosure I’ve got on hand. So that’s pretty good I think.

The last graph is the Transfer Rates for the tests. Ordering is slowest to fastest with write speed again being the ordering reference.

Diskbench Xfer Rates-Cirago

29.9MB/s for the write speed and hitting a fast 34.41MB/s for the read speed, not bad at all.

The Cirago CST5250 has the fastest read speed of all of the enclosures I have, that has to be a good thing right? The write speed isn’t too shabby either…

As far as pricing goes, I only found one place that had it listed right now and that was for $99.99. Though, the Cirago site has the product listed as available soon, so I’m not sure if that price is correct or not as I didn’t find an MSRP for it. If you look at other 250gb 2.5” external hard drives though, you’ll find them varying in price from $50 up to $150, so it depends where you look really.

EDIT: I just heard from Cirago and the price for the 250GB is only $69.99, so that’s actually pretty inexpensive compared to the others out there…


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Conclusion:

The Cirago CST5250 250GB Portable USB Hard drive is a decent performer overall, I think anyone would be very happy with the transfer speeds they’ll get.

The casing is metal, something I personally prefer over plastic, and the included carrying case will offer good protection for the drive.

9

Pros:
+Very nicely made
+Overall it has decent performance
+Very fast read speeds
+Includes nice carrying case

Cons:
-Write speed is a tad bit slow

Grades:
Overall score-9-10
Design score-10-10
Performance score-9-10
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