Recently we took a long hard look at the Silicon Power A62 Armor 4TB external hard drive and found it to be a very robust drive at a very good price. Put simply it was indeed an excellent value when compared against better-known manufacturers’ offerings. Today we are going to take a look at the higher end Silicon Power A85 5TB to see if it too is as good a deal as it appears to be on paper – and on paper it has a lot going for it.
Along with the upgrade in capacity, and theoretical increase in performance, the A85 Armor series is built to a noticeably higher standard. The first indications of this is that it comes in a metal not plastic chassis, and weighs significantly more than a comparably sized A62. This is the downside all potential buyers will be need to aware of as There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. For some this increase weight will be an issue so we will make sure to go over it later in the review.
The next strong indicator that it is indeed built to a higher standard is the fact that it actually meets multiple IP standards. As went over in the A62 review that model was IPx4 and 810G 516.7 IV rated. Meaning it had decent water and shock/drop protection. However, the ‘X’ in the International Protection / Ingres Protection standards means it has no dust/dirt protection rating – as in it was either not tested or did not pass even basic level dust tests. The Armor A85 on the other hand, meets not only the military 516.7 IV drop test but also IP68 standards. What this means is it is rated for better water protection, is dust proof and darn near shock/crush/drop proof. In fact, this exterior is rated by Silicon Power to survive up to 500KG of pressure before failing. That is indeed a much higher level of protection compared to the Armor A62 series.
Of course, as TANSAFL is always in effect, all this additional protection does come at a price, or in this case a higher price tag. To be precise the Armor A85 5TB retails for about $170, or ten dollars more than the 5TB version of the A62. We will go over how this lines up with other manufactures similarly rated models in the review, but it will mean that the A85 will have to have better performance to go along with the better protection if it wants to be as good a value as the A62 series is. That is a rather high threshold as the A62 4TB is one of the better deals going right now. So lets take a closer look at this wee beasties and then go over who it will be right for, and who should think more about the A62 series.