Hyperdrive Colorspace O Review

Started Apr 4, 2008 | Discussions
cutaway
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Hyperdrive Colorspace O Review
Apr 4, 2008

Here's my quick review of the HyperDrive COLORSPACE O. I purchased the casing only and installed a 250GB drive. I have had an HD80 for a couple of years. I found the HD80 more than adequate and very reliable. I had tried the orginal Colorspace and ended up returning it. The short answer is that I like the Colorspace O very much and will be keeping it.

I tried some quick timing tests with a Sandisk 2GB Ultra II, 244 files, 1.915GB. The backup speed was set to Hyper Speed.

  • No preview, auto verify: 3:04

  • HD preview, auto verify: 3:59

  • no preview, full verify: 11:41

  • HD preview, full verify: 12:41

So the visual preview adds about a minute to the process.

The auto verify option is interesting since it does a quick verification (1 out of every 32 data blocks). If an error is encountered then it performs a full verification.

Next I wanted to check the battery life. The advertised capacity is 120GB but that is assuming no verification. Since I often need to dump cards to the Colorspace (or HD80) and then reformat the card, I feel more comfortable with a full verification. Using full verification, I could copy the 2GB CF card 9 times before I received the battery low message. I then plugged in the external AA battery pack with 4 PowerEx 2700mAh batteries. I was then able to perform another 10 copies of the card.

In actual use I was able to copy much more. I didn't keep close track but I do know that I did more than 10 downloads with a combination of 2GB and 4GB cards with the built-in battery. I finished the day with 19 downloads (42GB) and with a lot of battery power left. At some point the external battery pack appeared to have fully recharged the main battery.

There is a battery level indicator that displays in the upper right of the screen. Since the Colorspace only powers up the hard drive when needed, this indicator isn't as useful as it could be. I've seen the indicator show a full charge while in the menus. As soon as I start a download, the indicator would drop to a much lower level. In fact when the low battery message appeared, the indicator had shown almost full in the main screen. At the start of the download the indicator was showing almost completely drained.

Some random observations:

  • There is an auto orientation feature so that the display changes depending upon how you are holding the device. Not only does the LCD image rotate but the button assignments change as well. This is a nice, well thought out feature.

  • With the auto orientation mode set, I do notice that the display response is a bit slower in landscape mode.

  • The buttons feel much better and responsive than the original Colorspace.

  • It took an adjustment period to get use to the markings on the buttons. The original Colorspace had unique icons on each button. It was easy to match up the display with the button. The O uses a "corner" icon for the four outer buttons. For example, the lower left button has an icon that looks like an "L". At times it took a couple of seconds to translate what was on the display with the actual button.

  • Obviously the O has a larger screen. I didn't think this was going to be a noticeable difference but it is. The larger fonts on the O make it much easier to read.

  • The Backlight settings have some interesting labels: Brightest, Brightness, Darkness, Darkest

  • The O can get very warm during downloads. In doing back to back downloads with the O in may camera bag, the device was very warm. It wasn't uncomfortable to hold but it was roughly equivalent to a heating pad set on medium.

  • I ordered my Colorspace O the day it became available on the Hyperdrive website. It had firmware revision v23-45-32. I just installed the firmware update off the website (v24-45-32).

With the type of shooting I do and some planned trips, I need a portable backup device. Even with the price of memory cards coming down, a PSD like a Hyperdrive makes more sense for me. I'll be keeping the HD80 and be using that as a second backup as well.

emax
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Thanks for Your Analysis!
In reply to cutaway, Apr 4, 2008

I'm currently trying to decide which storage device to get.

What do you think of the Colorspace O's review capabilities? I've heard that viewing images is a little bit slow, but I guess the screen is quite impressive.

Thanks.

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cutaway
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Re: Thanks for Your Analysis!
In reply to emax, Apr 5, 2008

I use the Hyperdrives primarily as backups. Reviewing photos is a bit slow. From Canon RAW files (CR2) you see a low-res version of the image immediately. It then takes 4-6 seconds to generate the high-res version. However once the images are generated they look great and moving back and forth is almost instantaneous. There is a feature to generate the thumbnails but I haven't played much with it.

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mabro
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Re: Hyperdrive Colorspace O Review
In reply to cutaway, Apr 5, 2008

Cutaway wrote:

I tried some quick timing tests with a Sandisk 2GB Ultra II, 244
files, 1.915GB. The backup speed was set to Hyper Speed.

  • No preview, auto verify: 3:04

This is consistent with my observations:

Sandisk 1Gb Ultra II took about 1m40s. It didn't matter if it was filled with 74 images totalling 1Gb or 119 images totalling 1Gb.

Some random observations:

  • With the auto orientation mode set, I do notice that the display

response is a bit slower in landscape mode.

Well observed. I didn't notice it earlier, but it really is slower in landscape mode. Strange, as if it needs time to rotate the background image... Should be solved in a firmware update, imho...

..... There is a
feature to generate the thumbnails but I haven't played much with it.

I build some thumbnails and noticed that it takes some time and that the amount of time depended on the image-dimensions:

For 1 Gb of 74 raw-images (approx. 13.5 Mb each) it needed a total time of 19:30 minutes (almost 16 sec/image)

For 1Gb of 119 raw-images (approx. 8.5 Mb each) it only took 10:50 minutes (= 5.5 sec/image)

But, the longer I'm playing with the Hyperdrive Colorspace O, the more I like it...

martin
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wtlloyd
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Re: Hyperdrive Colorspace O Review
In reply to mabro, Apr 6, 2008

Good review, thanks. I am interested in this storage unit, I sold my Epson P-2000 about a year ago, and I miss it....

I imagine the slowness in landscape is due to regeneration of the photo. If it is full screen, it would need to be cropped from the vertical, wouldn't it?

I understand these are not SATA acceptable units. Pity, as the PATA choices are becoming limited, and the tech is older.....

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cutaway
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Re: Hyperdrive Colorspace O Review
In reply to wtlloyd, Apr 8, 2008

The slow response in landscape mode is apparent in moving from menu to menu. The response isn't bad but just slightly slower than in portrait mode.

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iweiny
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Re: Hyperdrive Colorspace O Review
In reply to wtlloyd, Apr 11, 2008

wtlloyd wrote:

I understand these are not SATA acceptable units. Pity, as the PATA
choices are becoming limited, and the tech is older.....

I emailed the company regarding SATA support. They responded "By May or June?"

Neither I nor they specified which model. I have decided to wait for more vendors to come out with SATA as that is the future for drives.

Ira

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wtlloyd
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Thanks for that
In reply to iweiny, Apr 13, 2008

good to know, I will keep an eye on it. Now we need UDMA support for the cards.....

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JG Russell
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Re: Hyperdrive Colorspace O Review
In reply to cutaway, Apr 19, 2008

cutaway wrote:

I purchased the casing only and installed a 250GB drive.

Would you mind saying what 250Gb drive you installed? I'm considering the same option, but Hyperdrive doesn't list SATA drives among the options, and there don't seem to be a whole lot of non-SATA drives of that capacity. Thanks.

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cutaway
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Re: Hyperdrive Colorspace O Review
In reply to JG Russell, Apr 23, 2008

I installed a Western Digital 250GB Scorpio drive I purchased from from NewEgg. I see that Buy.com also carries this drive.

WD Website: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?DriveID=346 .
NewEgg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136159

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JG Russell
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Re: Hyperdrive Colorspace O Review
In reply to cutaway, Apr 23, 2008

cutaway wrote:

I installed a Western Digital 250GB Scorpio drive I purchased from
from NewEgg. I see that Buy.com also carries this drive.

Terrific, thanks! I picked up the same drive for a little less at MacMall.

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