Freecom Mobile Drive Mg USB3.0 review

Superbly slim and lightweight portable USB3.0 storage drive
Photo of Freecom Mobile Drive Mg USB3.0
£69.99 (320GB version)

With USB3.0 busily establishing itself as the new standard for high-speed data transfer, plenty of external storage drives and full-sized desktop backup devices are appearing that can benefit from these high speeds.

Freecom’s Mobile Drive Mg is an attractive option, finished in a sleek silver Magnesium enclosure (for a lightweight, solid and environmentally friendly design) that’s devoid of further frills aside from four small rubberised feet to keep it snug to the desktop, and a USB3.0 data port on the rear.

The design is certainly to be commended. We loved the sleek, slimline styling that makes it one of the most compact models of this type we’ve seen yet – Freecom does, in fact, claim to be the thinnest mobile hard drive in the world at just 7mm thick.

Setup and performance
Setup is predictably straightforward. In keeping with its intended appeal to the design-obsessed, the device comes formatted using the Apple Mac HFS+ file system, and claims to be 100 percent compatible with Apple’s TimeMachine software for quick and easy backups. PC users who appreciate the styling of the device can reformat with a different file system for use on these machines, so it isn’t inherently tied to the Apple OS. It’s also backwards-compatible with USB2.0.

Since there’s not a lot to say about the features of the device, we ran our speed tests to see how well it coped with file transfers. As we expected, it doesn’t get close to the 5,000Mbit/s maximum (625MB/s) stated, but it fares pretty well if you’re expecting realistic speeds. We clocked it at 49MB/s write and 53MB/s read for random access using a 10GB bundle of files, which is just about as good as we’ve seen for portable devices of this type.

Reasonably priced
Freecom’s Mg isn’t the cheapest portable USB3.0 drive around, but it doesn’t command too much of a premium for its great looks and slim lines. It’s available in 320GB and 750GB capacities, along with a 750GB model that includes FireWire800, which retail for £69.99, £99.99 and £119.99, respectively – cheaper on some online stores.

Company: Freecom

Positives
  • A stylish and portable design, backed up by decent speeds.
Negative
  • Not a lot of additional support from supplied software.

Verdict

The Mobile Drive Mg is slimline, attractive and extremely portable, as well as being quite reasonably priced considering the benefits on offer. Backed up by impressive transfer speeds, this could be a great choice for expanding storage capacity on a Mac or PC.