Freecom’s new ‘Sq’ drive is so slim that we had to double-check with them that it is actually a conventional hard disk and not one of those new-fangled SSD drives. The square drive unit measures just 10.5mm thick, making it far slimmer than any of its portable rivals, and it weighs in at less than 200g too, so it’s certainly easy to slip into your pocket or a carrying case when you’re on the move. There’s also a 1TB model that measures a whopping 13mm thick.
The drive’s performance is respectable, but not outstanding, achieving sequential read and write speeds of 100.60MBbps and 98.10MBps. Performance with smaller files was slower, as expected, but not out of line with its rivals at 35.65MBps for read speed and 36.37MBps for writing.
Freecom includes a copy of Nero BackItUp And Burn for making backups of your files, as well as a formatting utility and a ‘green button’ feature that allows you to ‘suspend’ the drive after a specific amount of time in order to save power. However, there’s no encryption or password-protection.
Important hard drive news:
One point to note is that the hard disk prices are going up and down like a yo-yo at the moment. The floods that hit Thailand this autumn are to blame – hard disk production was down by more than 50 percent in October. Most of the main hard disk manufacturers have factories in Thailand and one manufacturer taking part in this group test told us that its entire production line “is under water”.
Scarcity of supply inevitably means that prices will rise. The prices we quote in this review were current as we went to press, but more than ever we’d advise you to shop around and see what prices you can find online. Still, acts of nature aside, people are always going to need external drives to back up their important files and delaying a purchase now could cost you dearly if your PC encounters a natural disaster of its own while you’re waiting for prices to come back down.