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Lifewire / Erika Rawes
Larger than most portable drives
Cable clips fall off easily
Has a USB A-to-A cable
Manual is not comprehensive
The Silicon Power A60 is a portable HDD that’s built to survive a bit of abuse.
Portable external hard drives, like the Silicon Power Armor A60, make it easy to take your stored photos, files, media, and games with you on the go. The rugged Armor A60 is supposed to be extremely durable, water-resistant, and relatively quick for a hard drive of its size and price. I tested to Armor A60 HDD for a week to see if it’s really as great as it sounds.
The Silicon Power Armor A60 has a unique look. It’s encased in a grayish-black rubberized housing with a bright-green silicone bumper that surrounds the perimeter. Just like you’d see in a cell phone case with a port cover, the silicon bumper covers the hard drive’s USB-A port, protecting the port from dust and debris.
The HDD itself is 2.5-inches, but the entire unit is pretty large for a portable drive. It measures 5.5 inches tall, 3.4 inches wide, and almost an inch thick. The A60 doesn’t really show fingerprints, nor does it easily scratch or dent.
The case is military-grade shock-proof, so the A60 can withstand a few drops. To test the shock-proof case, I dropped it ten times from waist height onto concrete. The drive showed no signs of damage and still worked perfectly fine a week later. The A60 has rubber on the bottom to help it stay in place, which also should help prevent accidental knocks off of the table.
Since the Silicon Power A60 is also water-resistant, with a resistance rating of IPX4, it should be able to withstand splashes of water. I tested this by placing 15 droplets of water on random areas of the drive and allowing them to dry. The water didn’t cause any damage.
Read speeds were pretty consistent at between 128 and 132 MB/s for a 1GB file.
Initially, one thing I really appreciated about the A60 was the included cable clips that secure the USB A-to-A cable onto the unit. They connect to a slot on the silicon bumper, and then to the USB cable. The only problem is that the cable connectors fall off easily and would be easy to lose.
Overall, the Armor A60’s design is ideal for portability -- as a gaming hard drive you can toss in a backpack or as a general-purpose hard drive you can take with you in your laptop bag.
The A60 works with Windows, Mac, and Linux. Since the Silicon Power A60 is pre-formatted with NTFS (New Technology File System), it’s generally plug and play with Windows. If you’re using a Mac, you’ll have to format the drive or use a file management software like Paragon, but the process is pretty painless.
The A60 has an interface speed of up to 5 Gbps over SuperSpeed USB. To test the drive’s read/write speeds, I used CrystalDiskMark and Atto Disk Benchmark. I connected the drive to a budget Windows 10 laptop that was brand new out of the box (a Lenovo IdeaPad Series S145), as many people use budget laptops for media, photo and video storage, and word processing.
After 10 test runs on CrystalDiskMark, the read speeds were pretty consistent at between 128 and 132 MB/s for a 1GB file, and the write speeds stayed consistently between 118 and 120 MB/s for a 1GB file. On Atto, the speeds measured a bit lower, with the read speeds leveling out at around 116 MB/s and write speeds leveling out at around 114 MB/s for a 1GB file.
I also tested the load speed on the A60. I downloaded an older game — Sims 4 Deluxe — to the same Lenovo budget laptop. The 1.14GB game took just under six seconds to load. Once the game loaded, it took 7.64 seconds to load up a previously saved game.
When you factor in the other features, like the shock-proof case, water resistance, and portability, the A60 is a decent value.
The 1TB version of the Silicon Power A60 sells for as low as $50, but some retailers have it priced as high as $110. If you get it at the lower end of the price range, you’re paying about 5 cents per GB, which is a bit high. But, when you factor in the other features, like the shock-proof case, water resistance, and portability, the A60 is a decent value. The Silicon Power also comes in higher capacities, and you can usually find the 5TB model for around $130. This unit provides about 2.5 cents per GB of storage space, and it’s still shock-proof and water-resistant.
The Toshiba Canvio Advance is a portable, USB-powered HDD that also provides about 2.5 cents per GB of storage for the higher capacity models.
The 4TB version of the Canvio Advance sells for around $100. The Canvio Advance is smaller—it’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. What the Silicon Power lacks in style, the Canvio Advance offers in a compact drive with an attractive, high-gloss finish. The Silicon Power A60 is a bit more durable though, largely due to the bumper surrounding its perimeter and its resistance to water.
You don’t have to coddle the portable Silicon Power A60.
An ideal choice for gamers, students, or travelers, the A60 optimizes durability without sacrificing in other areas like speed, storage capacity, or affordability.