For backing up my Compact Flash cards while away I have been using a Canon M80 for quite a while, it is so SLOOOOOW, occasionally locks up and is only 80 GB, the batteries do not last very long and it also costs a fortune,  today price is between £500 and £600, however it does let me view files and videos and also plays MP3’s but I need something that is QUICKER with MORE storage.  So I have ordered a NextoDI Nexto Extreme ND2700  – 500GB.  As you can see its a whopping 500GB and VERY fast (said to be the Worlds fastest), it also costs ONLY £180 (I could probably get 3 for the price of a M80) although it is only a storage device and not a viewer.

NextoDI ND2700 product information.

I received the NextoDI today (30 June 2010) from Amazon and so far I am impressed. It does have a slightly quirky interface because it uses just one key (quick click, slow click, double click) and the display is quite small. However it seems to do what I want as it copied a Lexar Professional UDMA 8GB Compact Flash card in just over 5 minutes, my M80 would have taken the best part 0f an hour. You also can copy a card, shoot some more pictures on that card and then just do an ‘append’  (sometimes also known as incremental) copy which is useful. Verify has 2 choices, Verify all data or just a sample. The battery display didn’t change after I had copied and ‘sample’ verified but I need to do some more testing on battery life, but again it seems so much better than my M80 in this respect. One good thing about the M80 is that it uses same battery as one of my cameras so you always have a backup battery, the NexttoDI has a built in rechargeable battery which is user replaceable and its a LiPo battery which are even more powerful than NiMH batteries.

The worst thing about the NextoDI design is that it would be so easy to get rubbish into the open card slots as there is no cover for them, however you do get a case which if used should protect the untit from this.

All in all, and as long as its reliable, I think this is a very good investment if you want a large and quick portable storage unit, but remember it ONLY copies cards and is not meant to be a viewer or mp3 player.

ADDENDUM
I notice that in the write up it states that the battery will last for 60GB, if that is true (I will test this in time) then that is anothet plus point.

BACKING UP TO EXTERNAL DRIVE

Backing up to external drive will enable me to make sure I have 2 backups when ‘on the road’.  This is a fairly simple procedure if you know which route to take and I will detail the routes I took so you know what to avoid.

The Nexto comes with 2 USB leads, one is an ordinary USB lead to connect it to a computer, but if you want to connect another Hard Drive to the Nexto then you must use the second lead which turns the Nexto into a USB HOST just like a compter.

I bought an Iomega Prestige 500GB external drive and one reason I picked this is because it is the same size as my Nexto so ideal for backup, it also came with a ‘Y’ USB lead so that you could use 2 USB ports for more power if 1 USB port would not provide enough for the drive to function properly.  The manual for the Nexto warned me that it may not be able to provide enough power to power a USB external devise which proved correct.  Obviously a powered USB hub was the thing to try now.  I purchased a powered USB hub and connected the Iomega to it via both USB sockets of the ‘y’ lead ports and the drive seemed to powerup.  I then selected ‘Sync’ on the Nexto and it told me to connect the USB device, which I did with a lead from the powered Hub to the Nexto USB Host lead which was then connected to the Nexto, but the Nexto failed to connect, I think this is because it was seeing the USB hub and not the Iomega drive.  I then connected ONLY the Iomega extra power USB socket of the ‘Y’ USB lead to the powered hub which was able to power the Iomega on its own.  I then set the Nexto to ‘Sync’ again and it asked me to connect the USB device, which I did by connecting the other socket of the ‘Y’ lead to the Nexto USB Host lead which was again connected to the Nexto as before.  The Nexto then stated that the Device was not supported, I thought this might happen because the Iomega is formatted to NTFS but the Nexto needs the Iomega formatted to FAT32.

I formated the Iomega to FAT32 via DOS but it said that the Iomega was too big for that.  After searching how to proceed I came across THIS site, which told me to download and install ‘SwissKnife’ which I did, however it seems that ‘SwissKnife’ has compatibility problems with Windows7 which I am using.  I also keep a Windows XP machine in working order for times like this and installed ‘SwissKnife’ on the XP machine, plugged in the Iomega and formatted it to FAT32 with no problems.  I was now ready for the big test because if this didn’t work now then I could not see a way of making it work at all.

I connected the Iomega to the ‘Y’ lead, then connected the power USB socket of the ‘Y’ lead to the powered Hub and the Iomega powered up, I then connect the other socket of the ‘Y’ lead to the Nexto cable that makes it a USB Host, I switched on the nexto and selected ‘Sync’, the Nexto asked me to connect the USB device, so I connected the other end of the Nexto USB Host lead to the Nexto and it synced perfectly 🙂   So I now have a way to copy my Camera Cards to the Nexto in the field and then backup the Nexto to the Iomega when back at my Hotel Room.

The above sounds complicated but it is actually quite straight forward, but I have tried to detail all the wrong directions I went in hoping that it might just help someone else avoid them 🙂

IMPORTANT:  The Nexto doesn’t Sync with an external drive how I want it to i.e. just mirror what is on the Nexto.  What it really does is COPY everything to the external drive, if you then delete something from the Nexto and Sync again then nothing is deleted from the external drive.  This means that you cannot delete files on both devices by mistake but its NOT what I call SYNC’ing.  You can of course manually delete files/directories on the external drive from the Nexto, but I just wish it would SYNC how I want it to without having to mess around.

After my next trip away I will update this review to say how it fared while I was ‘on the road’.

UPDATE September 2010

I have now had a trip away and all I can say is that the Nextto did exactly what it was supposed to do 🙂  I copied and verified numerous cards, sometimes this was a Full Card Copy and sometimes a Incremental Copy and it worked flawlessly.  When back at my room I would then backup to my external hard drive and again all went without a hitch.  I am very pleased with my purchase EXCEPT for the Sync peculiarity mentioned above.

Here is a youtube video by devincoldewey…