This is a big, hefty drive weighing in at a whopping 5.8kg. The reason is that the chunky case holds no fewer than four separate hard drives equalling 1TB in size, which you can configure in various different modes via the USB connection.

Indeed, even though connection options include eSATA, you have to use USB for switching modes between RAID modes 0, 1 and 5, although the utility software for doing this is simple to use.

The drive's default mode is RAID 0, which gives you maximum capacity and performance, but without any redundancy, whereas mode 1 uses the third and fourth drives to automatically keep an exact copy of the first two. In our tests the drive was a little sluggish for writing data even in its fastest mode, although read speeds were about average.

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The design and build of the Quattro is businesslike and sturdy, with full visual indication provided by a neat row of front panel access lights. There's one for each of the drives, so you can see exactly which of the four drives are being accessed at any time. Not surprisingly, with so much hardware inside the case is fan-cooled, yet it still proved fairly quiet throughout our tests.

Other niceties include auto power-sensing and a decent software bundle. Better still, you're supplied with a "free" eSATA PCI card as part of the drive bundle, enabling you to take advantage of the extra speed. Even so, it's only really worth the additional outlay if want the mirrored data duplication offered by the RAID technology.