I’ve got a number of those little USB-powered portable hard drives, and they most often end up in my camera bag banging around with a lot of other stuff, so I’ve started getting some cases to put them in to make sure they don’t get damaged. I have one that I really really like, but I decided to give this QICENT case a shot to see if it’s any better than the one I already have.

When I first opened the package, my first impression was that this case seemed way big in comparison to the other. Upon taking off the plastic packaging, it really wasn’t as big as that, though a hair bigger than the other. Upon slipping my Toshiba Canvio hard drive into the case, it was actually a perfect fit, with just enough room around the other edges to know it’ll be protected.

So let’s talk the case itself. It’s a clamshell design with a black matte finish. It features a large QICENT logo splashed across the front. I tend to like my logos on products to be a little more subtle, but it’s not totally huge either. It features a nice zipper that goes most of the way around the case, and a small strap loop for carrying, which I don’t find all that necessary really. Compared to my original case, this one is thicker, which is mainly due to more edge surface, which I consider more protection for the drive. When you open it up, it lays out flat like a book, which is a huge plus. My other case doesn’t lay flat, so it’s a pain to load in accessories most of the time. This QICENT case is easy to load. It features a half mesh bungied bag on one side for accessories, and an elastic strap across the other side to keep the drive securely in the case. This is also a nice touch my other case lacks. The protection is just more evident here in the QICENT case than the other one. It has a nice felted back also to protect against scratches. Another nice tough.

How tough is this case from outside forces? It’s not steel. It’s more of a hard poly plastic covered in the black matte outer finish and felt on the inside. There is a little give when you press on the middle of the case, but not enough that I fear you’d crush your drive. The most strength comes around the edges where the plastic is far more rigid. This case seems like one designed more for side impact protection than overall crush protection, but it feels pretty secure on the whole. I’m actually quite impressed with the design and the overall build quality, though it’s not what I’d consider a mission-critical, top-of-the-line model. For the price, it’s pretty darn good though, and I wouldn’t hesitate getting another for my other drives.

For the one or two of you who would want to know, this case is big enough for 2.5″ portable USB hard drives, but a shade too small to hold 3.5″ desktop hard drives. I tested that out too, because on first glance it looked like it may fit, but it does not.