by Adam Armstrong

G-Technology G-DRIVE ev ATC With Thunderbolt Review

G-Technology recently announced some new additions to its rugged line, The G-DRIVE ev RaW and the G-DRIVE ev ATC. The G-DRIVE ev ATC is a 7,200RPM, 1TB portable drive that can handle some pretty rough treatment and still protect user’s data. The G-DRIVE ev ATC comes in two models, a USB 3.0 only model and a USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt model. Both models have a SATA connection for use with a G-DOCK ev.

The G-DRIVE ev ATC is designed to take a pretty substantial beating, when it’s in its case. The G-DRIVE ev ATC can withstand a 2-meter drop. The drive can be dropped into water where not only will it survive, it will float. The case is pressure and dust resistant as well, and has a tethered USB cord (or Thunderbolt depending on the model). Inside the case is a DRIVE ev RaW HDD. G-Technology claims a performance of up to 136MB/s. The product is aimed at people who do a lot of field work, including storing, backup, and editing in the field.

The G-Technology G-DRIVE ev ATC comes formatted for Mac but can easily be reformatted for Windows. The drive comes with a 3-year limited warranty, and starts at $179.95 for the USB 3.0 model. An extra case can be bought separately for $79.95.

G-Technology G-DRIVE ev ATC specifications:

  • Capacity: 1TB
  • Interface: USB 3.0 (compatible with USB 2.0), Thunderbolt (with the Thunderbolt model only)
  • Disk RPM: 7,200
  • Compatibility: Mac OS 10.7+; Windows 8, 8.1, and 7 via reformat
  • Case dimensions (LxWxH): 6.46 x 4.25 x 1.20 in
  • G-DRIVE ev RaW drive dimensions (LxWxH): 5.14 x 3.29 x 0.65 in.
  • Warranty: 3-year limited

Design and build

The G-DRIVE ev RaW inside the case looks identical to the removable drives in the G-Dock ev series with the exception of this drive being black as opposed to the traditional aluminum color that matches current Apple computer products. However the ev RaW drive is made of a lighter material and can withstand an impact even without the case. The Drive can withstand a 1.2-meter impact, which is about the equivalent of dropping it off a desk.

The case itself has a hard plastic feel. It is mostly black with G-Technology branding in the middle of the front, with the Thunderbolt symbal in the upper right hand corner. There is a blue frame that runs around the edges of the drives for increased durability. There is also a blue light above the branding to indicate when the drive is connected.

There is a tethered USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt cable on one side, depending on the model. On the other side is a clasp to open the case. The ev RAW drive slides right into the case.

Performance

We measured the performance of the G-DRIVE ev ATC by connecting on a current gen MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 2 using the Blackmagic speed test. We saw a write speed of 124.4MB/s and a read speed of 134.2MB/s, right about in line with the company claims.

For how the G-DRIVE ev ATC compares with other drives, we have previously tested the G-DRIVE Mobile with Thunderbolt and LaCie Rugged 2TB via Thunderbolt with Blackmagic speed test. The other G-Drive model gave us a write speed of 124.1MB/s and a read speed of 125.5MB/s while the LaCie gave us a write speed of 113.8MB/s and a read speed of 112.2MB/s. In both instances the G-DRIVE ev ATC does perform better.

Conclusion

The G-DRIVE ev ATC is for people who work in situations where their equipment could be in harms way. The 7200 RPM drive comes with 1TB of capacity, either a tether USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt cord, and is compatible with G-DOCK ev. The drive can be dropped, thrown in water, squeezed, or covered in dust and still protect user data.

When we check the performance the drive gave us speeds of 134.2MB/s read and 124.4MB/s write on a Blackmagic 5GB test. This is about in line with what the company claims, slightly under. It does perform better than other portable HDD that we tested via Thunderbolt. A bigger selling point of this drive over performance would be its protection against water. If you work in a location where it rains hard and frequently or if you are a photographer that does a lot of beach work, this case really comes in handy. Not only is it water resistant, the drive will float if dropped in water. 

Pros

  • 7200 RPM
  • Thunderbolt interface with specific model
  • Water resistant
  • Compatible with G-DOCK ev

Cons

  • The drive has to be removed from the case to access the USB on the Thunderbolt model

The Bottom Line

The G-Technology G-DRIVE ev ATC is an ideal portable drive for heavy use in the field where it may get wet or a little beat up.

G-Technology G-DRIVE ev ATC w/ Thunderbolt at Amazon

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