Review: The G-Drive Mobile USB-C HDD is a great storage solution for your Mac

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
Finally, G-Technology has added a USB-C port to the G-Drive Mobile line, and we've got one on our test bench.

G-Drive Mobile USB-C
G-Drive Mobile USB-C


Storage devices are arguably the most common accessories that still get connected to your Mac. Whether a massive RAID array at your desk, a super-fast SSD, or a portable solution for backups and media it needs to connect somehow. Slowly but surely, all accessories have been transitioning to USB-C and storage has been at the front of that transition.

We've been using the 2TB G-Drive Mobile USB-C hard drive with our MacBook Pro for the past few weeks, partitioned as half external storage and half a time machine backup.

Compatible I/O

This drive has a USB-C port on one end and both USB-C to USB-A and USB-C to USB-C cables in the box. This allows it to work out of the box on the newest Macs, as well as on older Macs and PCs that have type-A ports. It doesn't have the speed as Thunderbolt, but given the common USB-C connector, it does fit and work with any Thunderbolt 3 ports.

G-Drive Mobile USB-C port
G-Drive Mobile USB-C port


There's no difference in speed between the two of them, so you don't get any benefit choosing type-C over type-A. It just happens to work natively with your machine without any adapters.

By including a native USB-C port on the drive rather than a mini B, it allows you to use almost any USB-C cable you've got lying around. Next to the port is a small LED which flashes when the drive is in use and can act as an indicator when it is a poor time to disconnect the drive.

Performance

This drive isn't meant to be the fastest in the world, and shoot for cost-effective data density. The 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB models all ship with a 5400RPM internal 2.5-inch HDD, which is a fine average for a daily use drive.

Blackmagic Disk Speed Test
Blackmagic Disk Speed Test


G-Tech promises up to 140MB/s max transfer rate, which is just about what we saw. In our Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, we pulled 125MB/s on average for write speeds and 135MB/s on average for read speeds. If you are looking for faster, G-Tech does put out more pro-oriented drives with faster internals and I/O. You can also look at SSDs.

With 140MB/s, this is a great drive to use for transferring common files or for backing up your machine. Think daily utility use, not blistering speed.

Made for Macs

The G-Drive Mobile USB-C drive isn't exclusively made for Macs -- it works with PCs just fine -- but it is clearly designed with the Mac user in mind. The exterior is simple and stylish and the aluminum matches that of any Apple computer.

G-Drive Mobile USB-C
G-Drive Mobile USB-C


There are gold, silver, and black finishes available, which matches the coloration of Apple's most recent gear.

G-Tech includes a three-year warranty on the drives which is above the one year average we see on consumer-grade storage solutions. Should anything go wrong within that period, G-Tech will have your back.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Where to buy

If you need some additional storage for on the go, you can grab the G-Drive Mobile USB-C portable hard drive from Amazon starting at $70 in either silver, black, or gold.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Isn't it about time that vendors stopped putting dog slow rotating rust HDD's in these enclosures?
    A 1TB SSD is pretty cheap these days.

    There are plenty of NVME enclusures that are around $40. Add a drive and you have a smaller and much faster backup device.
    MacPro
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Apple supporting TRIM on non-Apple part numbers?

    Edit: Question referring to the the first post.
    edited February 15
  • Reply 3 of 11
    Overpriced USB-C hardware. You can get a 1TB 2.5" USB 3.0 drive for $25 less or a 2TB model for the same price.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    Think they are trying to capitalize on the Google branding? Both companies have "G Drive" offerings.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    Think they are trying to capitalize on the Google branding? Both companies have "G Drive" offerings.
    Sure, except G-Technology has been around since 2004 and Google Drive (not G Drive) launched in 2012.
    macgui
  • Reply 6 of 11
    Okay, so why would anyone buy this drive over any of the other external USB drives out there, the baseline price of which among all the main companies (Seagate etc) for a 1TB is around $50? Because the fancier exterior? That's one slow ass drive as well.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    Overpriced USB-C hardware. You can get a 1TB 2.5" USB 3.0 drive for $25 less or a 2TB model for the same price.
    Where?
  • Reply 8 of 11
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,449member
    HDDs...?  Seriously?
  • Reply 9 of 11
    Hi everyone. Some feedback. After reading this article I decided to purchase one such drive (2 TB). S far, it has already spontaneously disconnected twice during its first Time Machine full Backup. Unplugging and reconnecting did nothing. I had to reboot my MBP (Mojave 10.14.3) After an erroneous APFS encrypted reformatting (because TM does not work with external APFS encrypted drives), I reformatted with MacOS extended (journalised, encrypted). I read on other forums that such a case is not rare. It will probably return tomorrow to its original AppleStore. E
  • Reply 10 of 11
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,518member
    Clearly routine $/GB pricing is cheaper for HDDs than SSDs. HDDs still have plenty of storage utility where SSDs speeds are merely bragging rights. If somebody wants SSD speed all the time, there's nothing wrong with that.

    People love to post how much cheaper they can do something than what's originally posted, if they get no-name bits on sale and cobble together their masterpiece. But it seems they're loathe to provide actual source and price links and performance results.

    Or they post links to theoretically possible combinations without any actual experience with actual results.

    To be fair, G-Tech is banking on the style over substance business model and aiming it at Mac users, with color matching and native USB-C. BB has a 2TB WD external HDD on sale for $80, regularly $129. But it's not color matched or USB-C but it has twice the storage than the $70 1TB G-Drive. https://www.bestbuy.com/site/wd-easystore-2tb-external-usb-3-0-portable-hard-drive-black/5792402.p?skuId=5792402

    For $94, you get a 2TB G-Drive, USB-C and choice of color. That's not much of a 'penalty' to pay for a little style, if that appeals to someone.

    Choosing an SSD ups the ante considerably, and almost needlessly if storage is the issue. But if you want to boot from an external or just what faster performance at all times, it may be worth the extra money. For example: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/wd-my-passport-ssd-2tb-external-usb-3-1-gen-2-portable-solid-state-drive-with-hardware-encryption-black/6253915.p?skuId=6253915

    Minimizing costs means DIY, not a difficult process, easy for a lot of people. But it usually means waiting for a deal on a good SSD and finding an enclosure from Amazon, and hope it's not a bottleneck for your drive of choice. 

    So the G-Drive is no doubt the right answer for a lot of users, and not aimed at the 'I deserve better coz i'm smarter' crowd. It also saves getting an A > C adapter or cable.

    Full disclosure, I've bought a couple of 2TB 2.5" Toshiba, WD, and Seagate external spinners when on sale, for storage. For various boot drives, I've rolled my own with Samsung and other SSDs and no-name enclosures, two of which failed. As I'm not suggesting these instead of the OP's reviewed drive, I'm not looking up and posting links.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,518member

    Okay, so why would anyone buy this drive over any of the other external USB drives out there, the baseline price of which among all the main companies (Seagate etc) for a 1TB is around $50? Because the fancier exterior? That's one slow ass drive as well.
    Yes, the fancy finish and USB-C, one less cable or adapter. I don't know how fast the Seagate etc., drives are. So G-Drive is a little pricey, but it's a choice. And like all the portable drives out there, this will be available cheaper at some time or other.
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