The Hitachi X Series Mobile Drive 500GB is a 2.5-inch external hard disk drive.

It uses a simple plug-n-play USB 2.0 interface and is primarily designed for portable use — hence the name. It is ultra-portable and looks good in its two available colours (Black and Red), giving Seagate's FreeAgent Go series of drives a run for their money. The drive is encased in an ergonomic plastic shell adorned with two white indicator lights. The Hitachi X Mobile Drive fits easily inside a laptop carry bag. It is small enough to look like a slightly oversized wallet, but we wouldn’t recommend slipping it inside your back pocket — unlike the Hitachi SimpleTough 500GB, the Hitachi X Mobile Drive 500GB isn’t particularly rugged.

A mini-USB interface is the only form of connectivity offered. The USB cable bundled with the Hitachi X Series Mobile Drive has two connections (the second can be employed when one USB port doesn't provide enough power). There’s also a DC-in port on the drive, but this doesn’t appear to serve any purpose (there’s no accompanying power supply in the sales package). Internally, it uses a drive spinning at 5400RPM so it is quiet and pretty much inaudible. As with any drive of its capacity, this one offers 465.8GB of usable storage space once the disk is formatted.

Tested in the PCWorld.in Labs.

The Hitachi X Series Mobile Drive comes with Acronis TotalMedia Backup software to add value. This is an easy to use application that provides comprehensive backup and synchronisation options. Backups can be scheduled or initiated based on folders or file types, with pre-sets for regularly used file formats. The software comes not on a separate disc but preinstalled on the drive, which is good for Netbook owners who may not have a CD/DVD drive within easy access.

Though this is a SATA-II hard disk internally, the casing, USB adaptor chip and the speed of the USB 2.0 interface are the bottlenecks. To prevent bottlenecks, we use our top-end test-rig for testing. It performs about as well as any other USB 2.0 hard disk in the synthetic benchmarks and real-world tests, and there isn’t much that is different on that front. It did not get warm to the touch during intense testing. To view these details in an easier table-format, take a look at the "Performance" tab of this review. Hitachi offers a three year warranty on this drive.

As a drive that is generally on par with any other USB portable HDD, the differentiator is the backup software bundled. Take away that, and the asking price for the Hitachi X Series Mobile Drive would start to look quite high. So it is not for those who’d rather use freely available software to make their own backup solution.

Though it is good in the size and looks department, the fact is that pretty much any consumer-targeted external HDD is designed to please the eye. As such, you’d have to weigh its value addition (looks and software) against the pricing of competition. To put the cost-per-gigabyte in perspective, this drive is priced 50 percent higher than the comparably sized Seagate’s FreeAgent Go 500GB portable HDD.

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Hitachi X Series Mobile Drive 500GB: Specs

  • External hard drive
  • Form Factor: 2.5in
  • Capacity: 500GB
  • Interface Transfer Rate: 480 Mbps
  • Hi-Speed USB
  • USB cable
  • Power Source: USB bus
  • Hitachi Local Backup
  • OS Required: Apple MacOS X 10.3 or later, Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
  • 2 years warranty
  • 83x122x23mm
  • 166g
  • External hard drive
  • Form Factor: 2.5in
  • Capacity: 500GB
  • Interface Transfer Rate: 480 Mbps
  • Hi-Speed USB
  • USB cable
  • Power Source: USB bus
  • Hitachi Local Backup
  • OS Required: Apple MacOS X 10.3 or later, Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
  • 2 years warranty
  • 83x122x23mm
  • 166g

OUR VERDICT

The Hitachi X Mobile Drive 500GB is a good looking portable hard drive with an easy to use backup solution bundled, but at a price.

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