Verbatim 500GB InSight USB Portable Hard Drive with "Always On" Display


Last week I took a look at the Verbatim Clon Portable Hard drive, this week I’ve got another Verbatim portable HDD called the InSight. It’s a 500gb capacity drive that’s 2.5” in size, but what makes it special is the LCD display that shows the remaining capacity even when the InSight is powered off. Like the Clon drive the InSight also includes Nero BackItUp software to help you easily backup all of your stuff. The InSight is housed in a glossy black case with the display near the front, it looks nice, but how does it perform? I’ve put the InSight up against a few other portable hard drives I’ve got on hand for comparison..

The Verbatim InSight  comes in two boxes actually, one is the outside cover with the information while the other inside houses the drive, manual and USB cable.

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The InSight is black in color, it’s a glossy plastic, it ships with a protective cover over the top.

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The LCD display shows the remaining capacity of the drive even when it’s not connected to your computer.



500GB InSight USB Portable Hard Drive with “Always On” Display

For a portable hard drive that continuously displays available free space, take a peak at the Verbatim InSight hard drive with an Always On LCD that shows the drive’s available free space and personalized name.  The Always On LCD display automatically updates when the drive is connected and/or safely dismounted and is easily renamed right from your PC or MAC.  Compatible with all USB connections, the InSight drive includes a USB 2.0 cable, a Quick Start guide and Nero BackItUp software that offer full system backup/restore functions and optional password security.  Compact but big on storage capacity, the InSight drive is available in a sleek piano-black finish with capacities of 320GB and 500GB and carries a 5-year limited warranty. With an Always On display, the Verbatim InSight hard drive is a plug-and-play external drive that keeps you in the know – even when it’s disconnected.

*  Sleek piano-black finish adds style and elegance to your PC accessories
* Features an Always On LCD that display’s a personalized drive name and available free space.
* View the Always On LCD display without power
* Identify drive and free space without connecting to a PC
* Includes Nero BackItUp software
* 5-year limited warranty
* Package Includes: InSight Hard Drive, USB 2.0 cable, Quick Start Guide

* Rotational Speed – 5400 RPM
* Display – 32 x 128 pixels “always on” cholesteric display
* External Power – USB bus-powered
* Interface – One USB mini-B port
* Data Transfer Rate – USB 2.0 High-Speed: 480 Mb/s (max), USB 1.1 Full Speed: 12 Mb/s (max)
* Unit Dimensions –  5.99 in. X 3.37 in. X 0.63 in. (151.12 mm x 85.51 mm x 16.0 mm)
* Unit Weight – 0.36 lb (161.59 g)

Since it’s a hard drive, I’ve got to compare it to some others I’ve got on hand in both size and performance.

Here’s the InSight with the Seagate BlackArmor, Transcend StoreJet and the Verbatim Clon drive. The InSight is the largest of the bunch in regards to length, but it’s fairly thin.

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You can change the display just by renaming the hard drive when you go to My Computer, it’s easy to do really. The display won’t change until you unplug the InSight and plug it back in though. There’s also a blue LED under the display, on the bottom of the drive actually that also blinks to indicate HDD activity.

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Of course I had to open it up to see what was inside, and I found a Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500GB SATA hard drive.


The Scorpio Blue is sold as a drive that’s high performance, low power consumption and cool operation, something that should be perfect for a situation like the InSight.

Speaking of performance let’s just check that shall we?

The first test is ATTO DiskBenchmark:

atto blackarmor atto insight atto transcend atto verbatim

As you can see the InSight does have decent read speeds, comparable to the other drives, but it’s slower than the others in terms of write performance. I ran the test two more times to make sure of the results and came up with the same thing.

The next test is SiSoft Sandra 2009 SP4a Removable Storage Benchmark:

sandra graph

Here you can see the slow write performance really brings the overall performance score of the InSight down quite a bit, it’s the slowest of those I’ve got for comparison.

I checked over at Amazon and found the 500gb InSight is selling for about $105.00, which is comparable to other portable drives with the same capacity from other companies. There are some lower priced and some are higher priced, but none of them have the LCD display like the InSight does.

The LCD display is useful, but not something that’s really required. To access the drive you’ll need to plug it in, when it’s plugged in you can check the remaining capacity like you would with any other drive. It’s a novelty, yes it’s useful, but is it really needed?

As far as noise is concerned I couldn’t hear the drive at all, it was sitting about one foot away from me during my testing and I never heard it.

The housing is plastic, a very glossy plastic that attracts dust and fingerprints very quickly and easily. It does look nice, but after handling it a few times it gets covered with fingerprints and smears and doesn’t look so nice anymore. A case would be nice for this drive.

I won’t repeat myself about the Nero BackItUp software, it’s the same that was included with the Verbatim CL?N 320GB external hard drive, you can check out the review HERE for a little bit more information about Nero BackItUp. I can quickly say that the software works, and it does help to make backups easy for the end-user.

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The Verbatim InSight is a nice looking drive, it’s thin so you can easily slip it into the pocket of your laptop or netbook bag and take it with you. The addition of the LCD capacity display is a nice touch, but  it’s more of a gimmick than anything really. Yes it’s useful, but not really needed.

The InSight does have good read performance, but it falls a bit short in terms of write performance. This isn’t that big of a deal though really it’s not like it’s going to be used as a system drive or anything like that, for transfers the speed is good enough I think.


+LCD Display for instant access to remaining capacity
+Looks nice
+Can customize the name

-Not the best performance
-Glossy plastic attracts dust and fingerprints
-Long in size

Overall score-8-10
Design score-9-10
Performance score-8-10

This product was given to technogog for review by the company for review purposes only, and is not considered by us as payment for the review, we do not, and never will, accept payment from companies to review their products. To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.

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