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Silicon Power Armor A75 Review: A Solid Portable Drive

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Portable drives — especially those housing a regular hard drive on the inside — need to be handled with care. It’s just common sense, but if you find that hard, however, the Silicon Power Armor A75 is for you.

This portable drive is designed to keep data safe from mishaps, but it still manages to be compact, stylish, and fast. At some $60 for 1TB (or $85 for 2TB), this is the drive for those working in rough environments, or just downright clumsy.

The Armor A75 only includes a USB-C to USB-A cable.
The Armor A75 only includes a USB-C to USB-A cable.

Silicon Power Armor A75’s: Rugged and stylish design

The Armor A75 has a full aluminum body with stylish grooves that help with a grip. The drive doesn’t attract fingerprints at all, and you can easily wipe off any stains on its shiny surface.

The all-metal housing serves more than making the drive aesthetically pleasing. It also enables the Armor A75 to be compliant with MIL-STD 810G military-grade shockproof. Specifically, the drive is slated to survive drops from up to 1.2 meters (4ft). Just about 12 mm in thickness, this is one of the thinnest shockproof portable drives you can find.

I tried dropping it a few times on a hardwood floor, and it indeed worked fine after that. Still, like all storage devices, you shouldn’t drop it for fun β€” the A75 houses a regular hard drive — and not a solid-state drive — on the inside. While a drop doesn’t brick the drive, it could create bad sectors leading to a shorter life span.

Silicon Power Armor A75: Hardware specifications

InterfaceUSB 3.1 Gen 1 (6Gbps) with a USB-C port
USB 2.0 compatibleYes
Capacity1TB, 2TB
Shockproof levelMIL-STD 810G
Dimensions4.9 x 3.2 x .5 inch (124.4 x 82 x 12.2mm)
Weight6oz (169g)
Supported OSWindows XP and later, Mac OS 10.5 and later
Warranty3 years
Silicon Power Armor A75’s hardware specifications

Silicon Power Armor A75’s detail photos

Silicon Power Armor A

Silicon Power Armor A

Silicon Power Armor A

Silicon Power Armor A

Silicon Power Armor A

USB-C with USB 3.0 speed

The Armor A75 has a USB-C port which is a welcome feature since it’s future-proof. Two things to note here, however. First, the drive features USB 3.1 Gen 1 (a.k.a USB 3.0) meaning it has the cap speed of just 5Gbps, half that of USB 3.1 Gen 2.

Second, the drive includes only a USB-C to USB-A cable. If you need to use the drive with a USB-C or a Thunderbolt 3 port, you’ll need to get a USB-C to USB-C cable yourself.

Archaic files system, hard to use software

Out of the box, the drive is preformatted in FAT32 which is a terrible choice. While FAT32 allows the drive to work interchangeably with both Mac and Windows computers, it has the max file size of just 4GB.

Since many types of data, especially movies, require a lot of more than 4GB to hold, most portable drives don’t use FAT32 but exFAT instead, like the case of the Samsung T5. That said, you need to reformat the Armor A75 into a different file system right away to avoid future problems.

The Armor A75 includes SP Widget software that supposedly helps with backups and encrypting the drive. You should skip this software entirely, however.

SP Widget's look isn't good, but still better than its functions.
SP Widget’s look isn’t good, but still better than its functions.

For one, to download it you will need to register an account with Silicon Power. Most importantly, the software itself is terrible. It’s like a half-done homework project of an amateur programmer who is not sure about the nature of his assignment in the first place. Use Windows’ File History and Mac’s Time Machine for backup instead.

Silicon Power Armor A75: Fast performance

The Armor A75 was fast in my testing, for a USB 3.0 drive that is. It has a sustained copy speed of 117MB/s for writing and 119MB/s for reading; both were close to the fastest among its peers.

Portable Drive Score

The drive also works with a USB 2.0 port, but in this case, it topped at around 35MB/s.

Silicon Power Armor A75's Rating

7 out of 10
Silicon Power Armor A75 1
Performance
8 out of 10
Features
6 out of 10
Design and Setup
7 out of 10
Value
7 out of 10

Pros

USB-C connectivity

Compact, stylish and rugged design

Fast performance

Cros

Mediocre software

USB-C to USB-C cable not included

No support for USB 3.1 Gen 2

Conclusion

The Armor A75 isn’t a must-have portable drive. But if you’re in the market for a relatively affordable storage device with an extra layer of protection against accidental drops, it’s worth considering.

If you’re willing to spend more, check out the similarly rugged SSD-based Samsung T5 that’s much faster, and even more compact.

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2 thoughts on “Silicon Power Armor A75 Review: A Solid Portable Drive”

  1. This SSD never leave my desk. Design is great but the size of it make it perfect for Paris πŸ™‚ We only got small space in here

    Reply

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