The Mac Companion hard drive that we told you about back in early August
has started to ship from Apple's online store and is ready to take its spot beneath your iMac's monitor. We got a little hands-on time with the HDD and have to say, it's a slick peripheral that will certainly fit in with the collection of the aesthetic-conscious Apple devotee out there, with a metal-bordered exterior that seems to have taken a few fashion cues from the iPhone 4. On the front of the drive are four white LEDs, which turn off one by one as you fill up more space, letting you know how much room is left on the thing.
The top of the drive is a glossy black surface, which is a bit of a fingerprint magnet -- again, familiar territory to those with Apple products. Upon plugging it in (Iomega gave us the 2TB version to play with, though there's also a 3TB model), the Mac Companion will ask whether you'd like to back your system up via Time Machine. Transfer-wise, the drive does USB 2.0 and FireWire. In our limited testing, we got around 35MB/sec and just under 60MB/sec, respectively.
The Mac Companion also doubles as a hub for your peripherals -- with two USB ports on the rear and a 2.1 Amp port on the side. The ports on the rear require the drive to be connected to a computer to charge and sync devices. The high-powered port on the side, however, will charge up devices like an iPad or iPhone even when the drive isn't connected to your Mac.
The Mac Companion is a fairly straightforward, good looking drive, which worked quite well out of the box on the Lion system we tested it out on -- and the fact that it does double duty as a USB port sets the thing apart from much of the pack. The 2TB version will run you around $240 online.
Iomega Mac Companion Hard Drive hands-on