There are many ways to back up a computer, and lots of devices for this purpose. Most such devices are a nuisance for mobile users because they add to the bulk and weight of everything that has to be kept in tow. But Lexar’s new backup solution for netbook and notebook computers is no bigger than your thumb nail.
The Lexar Echo ZE Backup Drive is basically a tiny USB flash drive that comes preloaded with automatic backup software. The drive measures only 20.1 by 15.1 millimeters. It’s more or less the same size as the male plug on the end of a USB cable—there would be no way to make it any smaller. It takes up no more space in your pants pocket than a nickel or a quarter, so you do have to be careful not to lose the drive itself. However, because it's so diminutive, you can just plug it into a USB port and leave it there where it can automatically back up essential files as you work.
The Echo ZE Backup Drive is available in capacities of 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. Otherwise they look identical and all come with the same backup software. Lexar’s Echo backup software can perform targeted file backups, which protect only the files that you specify, in order to reduce wasted disk space. That’s important because most people have more than 32GB of data on their hard drive and even the most capacious Echo ZE couldn’t possibly back up everything.
The Echo ZE Backup Drive also performs file versioning, which maintains the history of your file saves so that you can restore a previous version, in case you happen to overwrite or delete something important. Optional AES 128-bit encryption will prevent someone from getting at the files stored on the drive in case it gets lost or stolen. The Echo backup software works across platforms so you can back up or restore files on a PC or Mac. The software is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and 7, as well as Mac OS X.
Backup solutions are peculiar; if you have one, you hope you’ll never need it. And most of the time you don’t. Because of that, people tend to get lazy and leave their backup drive at home. But the Echo ZE Backup Drive is so small that there’s no reason not to keep it with you at all times. You’ll be glad you did the next time you inadvertently delete that presentation you were working on while rushing to a business meeting.