The G-Techology G-Drive Mobile USB 3.0 ($139.99 list) is a USB 3.0 portable hard drive with a speedy 7,200rpm mechanism. Theoretically this means that the G-Drive Mobile USB 3.0 is faster in transferring files and data than drives using a slower 5,400rpm mechanism, which are in most 1TB portable hard drives. It will backup and transfer files faster than a slower hard drive, but solid-state drives (SSDs) are faster still, if that’s what you really need. The G-Drive mobile USB 3.0 is therefore relegated to middle child status, giving you a bit more speed for a bit more money.
Design and Features
The G-Drive Mobile USB 3.0 is a mid-size drive, especially compared with the G-Technology G-Drive Slim (500GB), which only 0.4 inches thick. It measures 0.51 by 5 by 3.25 inches (HWD), with the same aluminum and plastic construction as the G-Drive Slim. The matte silver aluminum finish of the drive matches the Apple MacBook Air and other aluminum-clad systems perfectly.
The G-Drive Mobile USB 3.0 is a smidge larger than competitors like the Toshiba Canvio Slim II (1TB), Seagate Slim for Mac, and LaCie Porsche Design P’9223 Slim. It comes relatively unadorned, with a G-Technology icon on the front panel, a micro-USB 3.0 port and drive activity light on another face. The drive is meant to slip into a jeans pocket or commuter bag easily.
The 7,200rpm 1TB hard drive mechanism is faster than the 5,400rpm mechanism found in the Toshiba Canvio Slim II and Seagate Slim. The LaCie P’9223 Slim has a SSD mechanism, which is much faster but has a much smaller capacity 120GB SSD.
The G-Drive Mobile USB 3.0 comes pre-formatted HFS+ for Macs, though you can reformat it ExFAT or NTFS for use with a PC. This is less convenient than the Seagate Slim for Mac, which comes with a HFS+ driver for PCs. The G-Drive Mobile USB 3.0 is best suited for Mac-only offices, where you’ll use the speedier 7,200rpm G-Drive to reduce drag-and-drop transfer times or for quicker backups using Time Machine. The G-Drive Mobile USB 3.0 comes with a three-year warranty.
The 7,200rpm mechanism gives the G-Drive Mobile USB 3.0 good transfer speeds. Drag-and-drop copying our 1.2GB test folder took a quick 10 seconds, matching the G-Drive Slim (500GB) 7,200pm drive, and beating the Canvio Slim II (18 seconds), Segate Slim (2 seconds), and even the LaCie P’9223 Slim (18 seconds). It also showed good numbers at the AJA System Test (121MBps read, 120MBps write) with similar results on the Blackmagic drive test (123MBps read, 122MBps write). The Seagate Slim and its big brother the Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive for the Mac (1TB) were a bit slower with 90 to 108MBps transfer numbers on the AJA System test. The LaCie P’9223 Slim is the champ in this price range, with 435MBps read and 198MBps write transfer rates on the AJA System test. The takeaway is that while the 7,200rpm drive in the G-Drive Mobile USB 3.0 is faster than slower 5,400rpm mechanisms, you really want a SSD-equipped drive as a scratch drive for media work.
The G-Technology G-Drive Mobile USB 3.0 is a good hard drive, with Mac-matching styling and a speedy hard drive mechanism. However, for mundane tasks like backup and sneakernet file transfers, we think that drives with cheaper dollar per Gigabyte ratios, like the Toshiba Canvio Slim II and portable hard drive Editors’ Choice Seagate Backup Plus, make more sense. A dozen or two MBps difference in transfer rates doesn’t matter on Time Machine backups as much as a $20 to $50 more in your pocket.
|Rotation Speed||7200 rpm|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||1 TB|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc