Apacer AC730 1TB Military-Grade Shock Proof Portable HDD review

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External hard drives face a lot more abuse than your standard internal ones. You stuff them in bags, carry them around and may accidentally drop them on the floor. Usually, dropping them on the floor will end in a catastrophic loss of data, but what if we tell you that there are external hard drives that are rated MIL-STD-810G 516.6 for shock resistance? Yup, an external hard disk drive that is military-grade shock proof. That’s the Apacer AC730 that we are looking at.

Unboxing

The words SHOCK PROOF takes up precedence at the top of the packaging, while a plastic window showcases the aluminium build of the Apacer AC730. The packaging is notably NOT shock proof, but since the product itself is so durable, what’s there to protect?

The back of the box is where you will find some basic specifications. While USB 3.1 is plastered all over the packaging, this is a USB 3.1 Gen1 device, which means a max transfer rate of 5 Gbps. No point having 10 Gbps speeds anyway since external hard drives are limited to the spinning platter drives in them, and most of them barely even break 150 MBps.

On the right side you find all the durability stats of the Apacer AC730. The IP68-rated for protection against dust and water ingress is interesting as is 1500 kg pressure resistance and shock proofing for drops from up to 1.2m. We will definitely put those numbers to the test

The packaging contents is decidedly spartan, consisting of just a quick guide, a USB 3.0 Type-A to microUSB cable and the Apacer AC730 itself.

Appearance

The chunky Apacer AC730 features even chunkier sides, presumably to protect . The front is blank except for a subtle sandblasted branding.

We find a similar blank expanse of aluminium with a label featuring several regulatory logos.

The top is where we find the microUSB port, with a THICC rubber stopper to prevent liquid ingress into the enclosure. The aluminium casing is also thick, alleviating any doubts of its durability ratings.

The bottom features a honeycomb-textured plastic panel, with well hidden screw holes under rubber caps.

Specifications

Interface USB 3.0 5 Gbps
Capacity 1TB (931GB usable)
Dimensions 135.6 (L) x 105.5 (W) x 23.9 (H) mm
Weight 420 g
Included accessories USB cable, quick guide

Performance

Synthetic

For the synthetic performance, we will only use CrystalDiskMark as AS SSD is meaninglessly slow on spinning platter drives.

120 MBps sequential read and write are pretty standard for a 5400 rpm drive, which is what you will usually find in most external drives. It performs on par with most external drives out there, no surprises here.

Real world performance

In our real world performance tests which involves transferring a 16GB load of data from an SSD into the drives. It is consistently faster than the Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro 2TB but loses to Transcend’s StoreJet 25MC 1TB except when we were transferring pictures. Once again, a decent showing but nothing spectacular here.

Cost per GB

The Apacer AC730 is actually more costly per GB than than the Seagate FireCuda SSHDs and even the WD My Passport Wireless Pro 2TB which comes with the hardware necessary for wireless file transfers. It offers poor value for money here unless you need the durability it offers.

User Experience

Look at the deep-set microUSB connector!

As with all external drives, the Apacer AC730 is plug and play. In fact it didn’t even come with any software to handle backups like Transcend drives do. There isn’t even a status LED to let you know whether the drive is working. If your system detects it, well, that’s the only way you know it’s actually still functioning. The weight is also on the heavy side, but that’s a given considering the amount of protection that the Apacer AC730 features.

It touts its durability, so we will put that to the test here. We will roll over it with a car, drop it from shoulder height and also send it for a dip in a pool. Will it survive?

Yes it does, and the post-torture benchmark scores are still similar to what we got before submitting it to all that abuse, so we know we didn’t do any damage AT ALL to the external drive!

Conclusion

The Apacer AC730 is a tank of a hard drive with the usual speed you expect of an external drive. How much will it cost you though? A pretty pricey RM499 on Lazada when most 1TB external drives are priced at below RM300. If you frequently abuse your hard drives, the Apacer AC730 offers some peace of mind that your data will still be intact after the torture. Data integrity is definitely something I value very much, and the Apacer AC730 offers it, but I don’t find the assurance worth the RM200+ that Apacer is charging. Do you? If you do, then this is the external drive for you.