Review: G-Drive mobile adds USB-C for on-the-go storage

Posted:
in General Discussion
The G|Drive mobile USB-C portable hard drive is an updated version of their popular portable storage designed to work with Apple's latest Macs, and AppleInsider has one.




It is only a matter of time before all peripherals move over to USB-C rather than legacy USB-A or micro USB. Some external drive makers have been quicker than others. G-Technology has slowly been moving through their line, updating them with the new interface.

The latest is their G|Drive mobile USB-C portable drive. Let's check it out.

Fit and finish

The G|Drive mobile has a mostly Aluminum enclosure, with a plastic border encompassing the edge for added durability. The aluminum has a brushed finish giving it a soft touch matte finish. It doesn't quite match the exterior of Apple's MacBooks -- but is pretty close.




There is only a single USB-C 3.0 port on the drive, with a sole LED positioned to the left. The light remains solid when plugged in and powered, and will flash whenever data is being read or written, like most cases.

Two USB cables are included -- a USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A for any legacy devices. They aren't particularly long, coming in at 24-inches each, which is longer than we usually see with these bus-powered portable drives.

Speed and performance

These drives aren't SSDs, so they aren't designed to be the fastest out there. Inside is a 2.5-inch 7200 RPM hard drive. It isn't thick by any means, but it does edge past a half an inch.

GDrive mobile USB-C portable drive blackmagic speed tests


USB-C is quite fast, up to 5 gigabits per second, but that HDD is going to limit it, making it much slower in actual use.

We ran the usual Blackmagic Disk Speed Test several times to see how performance was and we clocked speeds of 113 MB/s write and 131 MB/s read. This is going to be better than many cheaper portable HDDs which opt for the slower 5400 RPM drives.

Real world usage




G-Technology's G|Drive mobile USB-C is a handy drive to have around, though there is nothing specifically unique about it.

We much prefer the robust aluminum shell rather than a plastic body that would soon be marred by scratches. This isn't a likely candidate for us to use for data-intensive tasks like video editing, but it is perfect for backing up our MacBook Pros.

It is small, well built, and has enough capacity to be an ideal Time Machine target.

Whether you're a student heading to school, or a professional wanting to back up their data on-the-go, the premium G|Drive mobile USB-C is a higher quality option than many run of the mill bargain drives. A three-year warranty is also preferable to the usual 12-month warranties we see on cheaper models in case anything should go wrong within that time.




Still, if you prefer a thinner or a faster drive, there are other options out there, many from G-Tech itself.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Where to buy

The base 1TB model of the G|Drive mobile USB-C is a bit on the high end, running $71 on Amazon. Luckily, the higher capacity models are a bit more reasonable. 2TB costs $94.95 and the 4TB costs $129.95.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    Still using Rotating Rust Storage? How quaint.

    Shouldn't we be looking forward rather than backwards?

    If this is for people on the move then the rubberised cover of a LACIE drive would probably be a better bet.

    IMHO, this product has had its day due to the HDD. I'd go for an SSD in a Caddy.

  • Reply 2 of 9
    HDD is a better $/GB for us tightwads.  Good enough is sometimes good enough. 
    macguiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 9
    anomeanome Posts: 1,093member

    Depends on usage. Some stuff doesn't need to be fast. And an SSD or a ruggedized enclosure adds cost that might not be worth it, given the reliability of the drive. I have a 2.5" HDD I take with me when travelling, but otherwise stays plugged into the dock. I wouldn't want to carry a big external drive, and the LaCie Rugged is overkill. I got a cover for A$5 to use when I'm travelling, and had no problems so far.

    I also have a T5 SSD that I carry around all the time. It's only 250GB (vs 2TB for the other one) and it cost almost twice as much. Different uses have different requirements.

    macguiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 9
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,728member

    There is only a single USB-C 3.0 port on the drive

    [...]

    USB-C is quite fast, up to 5 gigabits per second, but that HDD is going to limit it, making it much slower in actual use.
    This is weird coming from AI.

    USB-C is a connector spec, not a data protocol. Also the protocol on this enclosure is USB 3.1 Gen 1, not USB 3.0 as described here, even though both run at 5Gbps. However, USB-C as a connector doesn't have an inherent speed, and needless to say a USB-A connector using USB 3.0 would be the exact same speed as this one.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 9
    I've been growing a stick of 2 GB T3's and T5's. Ultra-reliable but way pricey for backup drives.

    I got two of the 4GB G-Technology Drives for under $250 and will be reclaiming my 5 2 TB Samsung SSD's for less mundane uses.

    How I wish they made 10 GB or 20 GB G-Tech Drives.
    anomewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    I have nothing but bad experiences with external hard drives. Even with SSD I’d only trust RAID or backups to a second drive to mitigate risk of hardware failure.
  • Reply 7 of 9
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,728member
    I have nothing but bad experiences with external hard drives. Even with SSD I’d only trust RAID or backups to a second drive to mitigate risk of hardware failure.
    All hard drives die and should be backed up. There's not really any difference between internal and external drives in this regard though, except in an external if the enclosure dies you can just move the drive to a new enclosure. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 9
    macguimacgui Posts: 850member
    I have nothing but bad experiences with external hard drives. Even with SSD I’d only trust RAID or backups to a second drive to mitigate risk of hardware failure.
    All hard drives die and should be backed up. There's not really any difference between internal and external drives in this regard though, except in an external if the enclosure dies you can just move the drive to a new enclosure. 
    I've had nothing but good experiences with both external HDDs and SSDs, save one enclosure dying. I thought it was the drive but putting it in another enclosure worked.

    If critical data doesn't exist in at least two places, it's not backed up.
    watto_cobrafastasleepsweetheart777
  • Reply 9 of 9
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,728member
    macgui said:
    I have nothing but bad experiences with external hard drives. Even with SSD I’d only trust RAID or backups to a second drive to mitigate risk of hardware failure.
    All hard drives die and should be backed up. There's not really any difference between internal and external drives in this regard though, except in an external if the enclosure dies you can just move the drive to a new enclosure. 
    I've had nothing but good experiences with both external HDDs and SSDs, save one enclosure dying. I thought it was the drive but putting it in another enclosure worked.

    If critical data doesn't exist in at least two places, it's not backed up.
    You obviously never bought any of the cursed Seagate 3TB... What a disaster that model was, so many lost hours. 
    sweetheart777
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