The G-Technology G-Drive mobile 500GB is a simple but very effective portable hard drive with FireWire and USB 2.0 connectivity.

G-Technology is now part of the Hitachi group responsible for manufacturing hard disk drives. So G-Technology products feature Hitachi disks on the inside, and some smart and very well constructed cases on the outside.

In the example of the G-Technology G-Drive mobile 500GB, there’s a single-piece aluminium chassis to house a 2.5in notebook drive, topped with a black acrylic plate bearing the big G logo.

G-Technology storage units are usually aimed at creative professionals, with styling often matching Apple hardware. This drive is no exception – the case is based on the Unibody MacBook Pro notebook, a white LED status light on the front replicating a similar detail on Apple’s laptops.

Although on the MacBook, this cutout is actually for the IR sensor. Apple uses a clever technique of micro-holes drilled into the aluminium - invisibly opaque when not backlit - for its status light.

At the back of that most solid-feeling case of the G-Technology G-Drive mobile 500GB are nicely machined cutouts, accomodating two FireWire 800 and one mini-USB 2.0 port.

Six small rubber feet underneath help stop the unit sliding around the desk or from getting scratched. And that’s the only features on this otherwise unadorned unit.

G-Technology G-Drive mobile 500GB

The G-Technology G-Drive mobile 500GB includes two FireWire 800 ports (backwards compatible to FireWire 400) and one mini-USB port

The G-Technology G-Drive mobile 500GB is a weighty affair at over 0.25kg, which while at odds with the road warriors' philosophy of travelling light, does embue the drive with a robust quality.

Only the black top mars this effect slightly, since its soft plastic finish proved to be all-too easy to scuff with fine scratches in daily use.

But it’s also in real-world use that the G-Technology G-Drive mobile 500GB really shows its mettle.

We know that FireWire 800 is a fast connection standard, with read and write speeds that often exceed 40MBps, while USB usually languishes at half that speed. Yet in our lab tests with HD Tach and HD Tune Pro we were seeing transfer speeds well above 50MBps.

HD Tune Pro reported average read speeds of 59MBps and writes at 50MBps, while HD Tach gave results of 61MBps and 53MBps respectively.

With its USB 2.0 port, speeds were also higher than normal for this protocol. HD Tach recorded results of a 31MBps write speed, and 35MBps for reading.

Unlike many drives which try to add value to the package with software utilities of dubious practical use, the G-Technology G-Drive mobile 500GB is bereft of bloat, and just includes the necessary FireWire and USB cables for connectivity.

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G-Technology G-Drive mobile 500GB: Specs

  • 500GB portable hard drive
  • Hitachi 2.5in 5400rpm SATA HDD with 8MB cache
  • 2 x FireWire 800, 1 x mini-USB 2.0
  • 127 x 83 x 18mm
  • 277g
  • 3-year warranty
  • 500GB portable hard drive
  • Hitachi 2.5in 5400rpm SATA HDD with 8MB cache
  • 2 x FireWire 800, 1 x mini-USB 2.0
  • 127 x 83 x 18mm
  • 277g
  • 3-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

The G-Technology G-Drive mobile 500GB is a simple but well-made portable FireWire drive, ideal for professional users or anyone who just needs a tough, high-performance unit. In our lab tests, it was the fastest portable drive we’ve seen, over both its FireWire and USB 2.0 ports.

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