Right – external hard disks. They’re crucial to everyone – either for backups only, as a form of expanded storage, or for large file transfers. Whichever it is, durability is important and we know it. An external hard disk is always susceptible to accidents and suffers a premature death. Thus, the Apacer AC730 takes this durability to the extreme.
Let’s take a look at what the Apacer AC730 has to offer – as it has some bold claims after all.
Also, we got a full unboxing, drop test, and water-resistance test too! Do check it out – as we really did torture the crap out of the Apacer AC730!
It’s a simple box. Just a simple cardboard box frame that holds a plastic shell where everything is found. On the cardboard box itself, its model number, capacity, and connectivity choice are highlighted. USB 3.1 Gen 1 – which essentially is USB 3.0 – and at the bottom is where the bold claim of military-grade drop test protection and “up to 1500kg pressure resistance” came in.
It’s a pretty barebones packaging language after all.
Opening up the box reveals that its contents are pretty minimal – with only a single quick start guide and a pretty short USB 3.0 Type-A to micro USB 3.0 is found. This cable is exceptionally rigid too.
This is the interesting part. The entire external part Apacer AC730 is encased in metal and two little plastic parts at the top and bottom, and there’s another little rubber flap to cover the micro USB 3.0 port.
It’s a pretty bland design, in my opinion. At least they added some fine grain texture on the metal body itself, which does offer some anti-fingerprint and grippy element in it. Pretty nice finish. At least it looks and feels way better than any of the rubber-wrapped Transcend external hard disks.
Then come the physical size and shape of it. To say that the Apacer AC730 is tiny is definitely a lie. Any external hard disks that don’t require any dedicated external power source is definitely using a 2.5-inch hard disk inside – and so is the Apacer AC730. The physical size, however, tells a different story.
Its length and height resemble more of a 3.5-inch hard disk, but the Apacer AC730 is definitely thinner. The larger size is obviously to accommodate more padding and shock absorbance inside the Apacer AC730 itself, of course. I wish that Apacer makes some dedicated slots to accommodate the USB cable in the hard disk chassis itself – that’ll be ideal.
The Apacer AC730 weighs in at a gaudy 414 grams without the cable – which is definitely one of – if not the heaviest external hard disk available in the market today.
The Apacer AC730 uses a standard USB 3.0 (also known as USB 3.1 Gen 1 now) interface, which is the current standard. There’s nothing much to be said here other than the Apacer AC730 is performing within expectations.
Keep in mind that I did these benchmarks after I did the water and drop tests as shown in our demo video here. It’s holding up very well, actually.
On Crystal Mark Disk synthetic benchmarks, the Apacer AC730 can reach up to about 121MB/s for both sequential read and write speeds. It’s definitely not the fastest, but it’s actually pretty decent.
As for file transfers, the Apacer AC730 can achieve about 117MB/s on both read and write for single large files. When copying lots of tiny little files, more overheads are introduced and hence the speed drops to about 64MB/s. Still, pretty decent.
I did these benchmarks after I did the water and drop tests
To be honest, the Apacer AC730 is pretty barebones when it comes to features. Unlike Transcend who offers a bunch of free utilities, Apacer doesn’t offer any sort of utilities to synergize with the Apacer AC730.For me personally, I find this even better as I don’t really use those utilities much. I prefer the manual way.
For me personally, I find this even better as I don’t really use those utilities much. I prefer the manual way – though I know many people would like to have some sort of one-touch auto-transfer button like what Transcend has. There are alternatives to do this, but it won’t be such a straightforward solution.
Apacer compensates the lack by software features by including many more hardware features instead. Its durable body can withstand up to 1500kg of pressure, up to 1.22m in drop tests, IP7X waterproof standard, and IP6X dustproof standard. You can learn more about its MIL-STD-810G 516.6 military grade compliance here.
To be honest, even the insides of the Apacer AC730 can be felt. For every other external hard disk I’ve tried, I can feel its platters spinning strongly when I plugged it in and held the external hard disk at its sides. Not on the Apacer AC730 – as I can barely feel its platters spinning while I plugged it in and held on its sides. As a form of sanity check, I reconfirmed that 2.5-inch hard disk inside the Apacer AC730 is indeed a 5.4k RPM hard disk.
Now, I really want to see someone develop a USB interface just like Apple’s MagSafe where I can yank out the cable without damaging the cable or the port header itself. Then, implement this feature into something like the Apacer AC730!
Wrapping up the Apacer AC730 review
I will actually dedicate the Apacer AC730 to do one specific thing – and that’s for it to become a Mac computer’s Time Machine backup drive. Seriously, its durability is fantastic. Its speeds are decent. It’s waterproof and dustproof. I literally can just take it anywhere I want and not to worry about bumps and drops (hard disks’ most feared enemy) and extreme weather or terrain.
Sure, it’s heavier and more expensive than other external hard disks of the same capacity – but knowing that my data is at safer hands is definitely blissful. Comes with a 3-year warranty too!