Nexto eXtreme ND2700 review
The Nexto eXtreme ND2700 is a 320GB 2.5" SATA drive in an enclosure with two memory card slots, enabling the backup of CompactFlash, SD/SDHC, MMC/MMCPlus, MS/MS Pro-HG/MS Pro MagicGate, and xD cards (and more, with an optional adapter) without a computer. It can also backup straight from your camera using the USB OTG port, and features USB 2.0 and eSATA connectors, the latter of which means you can pull data off the drive at an average of 60 megabytes per second.
The Nexto eXtreme can backup a CompactFlash card at roughly 26 megabytes a second, provided you have a CompactFlash card that supports transfers at that speed, like a Sandisk Extreme III series card (or higher, of course).
The internal drive can be replaced with any 2.5" SATA drive, with a capacity of up to two terabytes - although we're not quite sure what kind of mad demon would be shooting that much without getting back to a computer once or twice. Gizmag has attended many events this year, most recently IFA and the IAA, taken countless photos and high-bitrate 1080p video, and not come close to filling up our 320GB model.
There's an internal battery which allows you to take backups when you don't have access to power, and it will charge over the USB port. We're not sure quite how long the battery will last, but we can tell you that the array of batteries we have for the Canon 5D Mark II we use at shows run out long before we get close to draining the Nexto.
The interface is minimal, consisting of just a single button, but it's incredibly easy to use. Turn it on, plug in a memory card, and press the button to copy (or hold it to move) the contents of the memory card to the internal drive. If you forget to clear the card after backing it up, and go out and keep shooting on it, the next time you backup that card, the Nexto recognizes the contents and will only backup the new files on the card, saving space on the drive.
Since we got our Nexto eXtreme, Nexto have released the Nexto Video Storage ND2725, which offers all the functionality of the eXtreme, and adds the ability to backup data from Sony SxS and Panasonic P2 cameras (although it can't read the cards directly, you need to plug the camera in via USB), and the Nexto Ultra, which adds a FireWire port to offer faster-than-USB-2.0 speeds to Mac users without the use of an ExpressCard eSATA adapter - which isn't an option for most users these days thanks to Apple's removal of the ExpressCard slot from all but the 17" MacBook Pro.
As for the ruggedness of the device, we obviously look after it well, but it has copped a few knocks and been dropped at least once that I know of - and it hasn't missed a beat. Having said that, we do carry another drive with us and take nightly backups of the Nexto for piece of mind, and recommend you do the same.
If we haven't made it clear enough by this stage, the Nexto eXtreme has been an absolutely essential piece of our touring kit ever since it arrived at the office - if it got stolen, damaged, or lost, it would be replaced immediately.
For more information, visit www.nextodi.com.