Freecom ToughDrive 160GB (Images courtesy Freecom)
By Andrew Liszewski

Buying a laptop hard drive and enclosure and simply building an external drive yourself is usually the cheapest way to go, but sometimes you just like to spend a few extra bucks and have the assembly part already done. And that’s part of the reason I like this ToughDrive from Freecom. It has a 160GB drive, and USB2.0 connectivity, but it’s the enclosure itself that makes it stand out.

The outside of the drive has a soft silicon cover while the inside has an anti-shock frame allowing it to stand up to a bit of abuse, including being dropped. But what I like most about the ToughDrive is the built-in USB cable. I have a couple of very slim external drives already, but I still have to throw in a USB cable whenever I take them with me, which I find pretty annoying. So I’d gladly opt for a short, built-in cable that I know I can never forget.

The ToughDrive 160GB is available directly from Freecom for $149.

[ Freecom ToughDrive 160GB ]