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Sony PSZ-HC1T USB 3.1 Gen 1 hard drive: A stylish and rugged portable storage workhorse

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The Sony PSZ-HC1T quickly became one of my favorite external hard drives to use around the lab. Why? Because it’s rugged and has a captive USB cable. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve held my breath after accidentally banging a drive, or every second I’ve wasted hunting down a cable, I’d be a rich man. 

Speaking of everyone’s relative financial status, those perks do cost you a bit—at around $110, the PSZ-HC1T sells for $50 more than most 1TB external USB 3.1 drives. Still, if you’re prone to being rough on your equipment, consider that it’s still cheaper than replacing a less sturdy unit.

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best external drives. Go there for information about other competing products and how we tested them, plus our top picks. 

Design and features

The PSZ-HC1T is larger and heavier than the average 2.5-inch external hard drive, measuring approximately 6.6 x 4 x 1.2 inches and weighing 13.5 ounces. That’s due in part to the heavy-duty rubberized jacket, as well as the captive USB cable with its Type-A connector, but there’s undoubtedly some internal shock absorption.

Along with the the captive cable, there’s also a USB Type-C port hidden beneath a captive rubber plug. The PSZ-HC1T is not waterproof, but the jacket and plug will certainly help ward off problems caused by spilled beverages, etc. 

pszhc2t front Sony

The PSZ-HC1T (or HC2T, the 2TB model, shown here) have a shock-absorbing rubber jacket and a captive USB type A cable.

The PSZ-HC1T ships inside a large protective plastic case that provides additional protecting when transporting or shipping the drive. Artistic types who are transferring projects to studios or post-production facilities will certainly appreciate that. So will backup experts. The list goes on. Kudos to Sony for even thinking about that. The company calls this a Pro drive, and it means it.

psz hc1t hr case Sony

The PSZ-HC1T ships with a heavy-duty plastic container that’s suitable for mailing or other iffy modes of transport.

The PSZ-HC is available in two capacities, the second being a 2TB drive, the PSZ-HC2TRemove non-product link. While the 1TB version I tested was going for $110 on Amazon, the 2TB was going for a little under $130. The math on that screams “Buy the 2TB!”

Because the PSZ-HC1T is a pro product, I was hoping for a five-year warranty rather than the three-year warranty it has. Three years is standard for portable hard drives, but this isn’t just any portable hard drive.  

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