Review: Verbatim InSight shows space remaining, even when unplugged

We called the Verbatim InSight USB hard drive "sexy" the other day, and now that we're the first ones to get our hands on one, we know that's true. Who cares if this svelte piano-black 500GB drive is a fingerprint magnet? Besides its beauty, the convenience of its always-on display showing you the name of the drive and available disk space is a delight. That's right, we were so mildly astonished with this feature that we named the drive "WTF."

It works just like any other drive, except after you type a name for it in My Computer, the next time you plug it in, that always-on "cholesteric LCD" display proudly changes its name in the display. Then it stays like that, without sucking any power, even when you unplug it. Better yet is its helpful free space-remaining line just underneath the drive name.

While the tiny display is a bit small to read for bleary eyes, we like having the exact number of gigabytes we have left sitting right there in front of us, any time. And when you plug the drive into any USB port on a Mac or PC, there's an attractive blue LED that lets you know that power is on.

The drive is fast, writing a gig of data in 46 seconds, right up there with the fastest USB drives we've seen here. With the 500GB model we tested retailing at $140, and its 320GB brandmate coming in at $100 (and both destined to get cheaper any day now), we think this newfangled ability to determine drive space at a glance is excellent, and it's something all hard drives should have on board.

Verbatim InSight