Adata HD710A Hard Drive
solid build and performance
some concerns about port cover
External hard drives have almost become a consumable product. With storage prices plummeting over the years and almost every computer accessory company on the planet putting their own products out, it’s hard to find something that’s a little different. The Adata HD710A is trying to carve out a niche by offering waterproofing and a shockproof body to protect your data.
When we first picked up the HD710A, we were surprised how light it felt. Despite the bulky case, which is made of solid plastic and elastic silicone to protect the 1TB drive in our review unit, it weights just 220g – that’s only 48g more than an iPhone 6 Plus. Unlike many portable drives, the HD710A won’t fit into your pocket easily because of the protection that contributes to the 132 x 99 x 22mm body.
Connectivity is via USB 3, although it can be used with older hardware limited to USB 2. The cable, which uses an eSATA connector on the drive and a regular USB connector for your Mac, is included with the drive and conveniently wraps around the HD710A’s body.
Performance was solid. We copied 5.5GB of files to the drive in just under a minute. The return trip was slightly faster, taking just 50 seconds. We were able to watch full-screen HD definition video and carry out other bandwidth intensive tasks without any hassles with our MacBook.
Adata says the HD710A has passed the IP68 test. Those IP codes come from IEC standard 60529. The first digit is a scale of zero to six indicating the level of protection. So, a device stating it is IP6X means the HD710A offers the highest level of particle protection – no dust at all enters the drive enclosure.
The second digit refers to how well protected the device is against water. The scale is from zero to eight. The first few levels on the scale refer to ‘no protection’ all the way to ‘significant splashing’. A score of seven on the second digit means the device has been tested with submersion at one metre for 30 minutes at temperatures between 15 and 35 degrees Celsius.
Adata’s rating of IP68 means the HD710A is dustproof and the MIL-STD-810G 516.6 rating means it can be immersed in 1.5m of water for up to 60 minutes.
Close inspection of our test unit revealed the cover over the USB port on the casing was not very firm. The soft silicone prevented the cover from being firmly pushed over the connector.
We immersed the HD710A in a vase of water for 30 minutes, taking special care to ensure the port cover was as firmly pushed in as possible.
Despite our concerns about the port cover, the HD710A worked flawlessly after our dunk test. As long as the cover is secure, we expect the drive to handle being dropped in water, making it a handy option for outdoor applications where data needs to be either backed up or carried in the field.
The drop-proofing has been tested and has passed the MIL-STD-810G 516.6 standard. This is a standard we’ve seen applied to lots of different products, so it’s important to understand what it means. There is no official certification around MIL-STD-810G 516.6 and there is considerable latitude around how companies do their testing.
Our own drop testing, where we ‘accidentally’ dropped the drive off a desk several times and threw it across the floor, didn’t cause the drive any problems. Performance was identical both before and after being dropped.
If you’re looking for a rugged hard drive for the field, the Adata HD710A will fit the bill for many applications.