Review: SimpleTech [re]Drive

Hard drives are boring. You plug them in, watch them spin, and then replace them when they die. Hopefully somewhere in there you back them up and maybe reformat them, just to switch things up a little, but you’re pretty much dealing with a bucket of metal platters that store information.

Enter the SimpleTech [re]Drive. I’d wager that this drive is probably one of the best external devices I’ve seen. It does what drives are supposed to do – it reads and writes data at USB 2.0 speeds – and is surprisingly cool and silent.

The drive is clad in aluminum and bamboo. The top and bottom look like they’re made of balsa wood while the side panels have an odd texture that suggests a clever heat-sink. Even though this is a 500 gigabyte hard drive, it spins up silently and makes nary a whisper during operation. A similar drive, also 500GB sitting next to it, sounds like a jet taking off.

The drive includes a power supply and standard USB cable. It also has backup software stored on the drive along with support for Fabrik, an online sharing system we’ve reviewed before. Fabrik support offers online storage of your images, documents, and media. A link to is also included, which is another service aimed at sharing pictures and video with friends and family.

The drive is formatted in NTFS out of the box and requires a reformat for OS X support. It includes a Turbo USB driver for faster disk access – about 20% over standard rates – offering 480-500 Mbps on a good day. Best of all, the drive turns off when the PC or Mac is turned off, ensuring that the drive’s green pedigree isn’t all just lip service.

Drives can’t really be revolutionary, but the $159.99 [re]Drive comes pretty close.


New SimpleTech [re]drive with Turbo USB 2.0 Provides Consumers with an Energy-Efficient, Fast, Reliable and More Sustainable Alternative for Storing and Protecting Digital Files

San Mateo and Santa Ana, Calif, July 28, 2008 – Bump up your green meter with Fabrik’s (www.fabrik .com) new SimpleTech [re]drive™, the world’s most energy-efficient, resource-conscious, Turbo USB 2.0 external storage and backup drive. From its sustainable bamboo and recyclable aluminum enclosure, to its packaging and Energy Star® power adaptor, the SimpleTech [re]drive helps make the world a little greener while storing and protecting your data. With Turbo USB 2.0, which delivers up to 25 percent faster performance than USB 2.0, the [re]drive is speedy and reliable with plug n’ play simplicity for both Mac and PC users. To help you steer clear of life’s little digital disasters, the SimpleTech [re]drive’s automated backup software saves copies of your stuff on the drive, and on encrypted, secure servers using Fabrik Ultimate Backup ( for ultimate online backup protection.

“Many consumers are concerned with helping solve the most important environmental issue of our time – protecting our planet from the threats of climate change,” said Matt McRae, vice president of marketing at Fabrik. “At Fabrik, we’re making an effort to support the environment, while adapting our products to better meet consumer needs and interests. We know we have a lot more work to do across the board as a company, but we’re committed to change and hope we’ll make a small dent in improving the environment – through our products, services, partner choices and company best practices.”

Blazing a path of innovation in making the products more sustainable, the new SimpleTech [re]drive is the most eco-friendly alternative on the market when compared to standard external hard drives. Renewable and recyclable materials are used in every aspect of the product where plausible and economically possible. For instance, it’s designed using bamboo, which is incredibly strong (16 percent harder than maple) and is one the earth’s most sustainable, environmentally-friendly natural resources. The bamboo is naturally grown local to Fabrik’s manufacturing facility so the material is not transported over long distances.

A thick aluminum casing is used not only for durability, but because it’s the most recycled metal on the planet. It also acts as a heat sink, cooling the drive without the use of a fan, saving additional energy and noise. Add to that a low-power internal hard drive, an Energy Star power adapter, and a feature that automatically powers the drive on and off with your computer, and you’ve got a storage and backup solution that keeps your grid demands to a minimum. Total power savings could equal up to 90 percent when compared to traditional external drives* or the equivalent of reducing approximately 475 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the drive**.

In addition, the [re]drive’s simplified, 100 percent recyclable package contains just the bare essentials to reduce waste – there’s no extra bags or inserts, and the backup software and user guide are saved digitally on the drive. For added convenience, the quick set up guide is printed on the inside of the box.

As standard industry practice, Fabrik ensures that all of its products adhere to stringent, regulatory compliance standards such as Grunpunkt, RoHS and WEEE.

The SimpleTech [re]drive is a reliable alternative for protecting precious data on a Mac or PC. A simple-to-use wizard guides you through a one-time set up process, where you can easily select what day, time, or specific files or folders you want protected. For PC users, virus protection is included to help prevent the transfer of infected files before the backup occurs. Free updates are continually made available to provide ongoing protection from the latest viruses. The backup software also lets you create a disaster recovery CD that can be used to boot your system in case of system failure, which could save hours of reinstalling the OS and various applications.

While backing up your digital files to the [re]drive is important, Fabrik Ultimate Backup provides the ultimate online backup data protection, so no matter what sort of disaster strikes your external drive or computer – a spilled drink, theft, fire, or other natural disaster – your pics, flicks and tunes are safe. Each SimpleTech [re]drive comes with 2GB of free online backup space, or for less than $5 per month you get unlimited capacity to securely backup all of your important files and media collections offsite. All online backups are secure, encrypted and most importantly are unobtrusive; performing incremental backups, so only the smallest amount of content that has been changed or modified within your files will be updated. Fabrik Ultimate Backup is also available as a standalone online backup service.

Fabrik’s new SimpleTech [re]drives Turbo USB 2.0 external drives are available today at many U.S. retail store and online sites. Manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing (MSRP) is $159.99 for 500GB.

Along with the [re]drive, Fabrik also announced today the availability of the new SimpleTech SimpleDrive and a new 500GB Signature Mini Portable USB 2.0 Drive. For more information about Fabrik’s new products, please visit