by Adam Armstrong

G-Technology G-DRIVE Mobile with Thunderbolt Review

The HGST G-Technology G-DRIVE Mobile with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 is a stylish, easily portable, and durable 1TB portable hard drive. The G-DRIVE mobile is small enough to take just about anywhere and it is bus powered with no need to pack an AC adapter. The aluminum finish makes it look like a perfect match up next to the newer MacBooks. The G-DRIVE mobile is formatted for Macintosh and Time Machine compatible but can easily be reformatted for PC.

High capacity, compact storage is great for users that take their work on the go. Whether you are a photographer, an artist, a video editor, or just an avid traveler that takes their work with them, having a small powerful backup is always a good idea. The bus powering makes the device even more portable as there is no need to pack extra cords. The new G-DRIVE Mobile not only has a Thunderbolt interface for faster transfer speeds, the drive speed is 7200 RPM, a big improvement over the 5400 RPM speed of its predecessor. Also, unlike its predecessors, the new G-DRIVE mobile with Thunderbolt in completely incased in aluminum (its predecessors sides were black as opposed to being all one solid color).

The HGST G-DRIVE Mobile with Thunderbolt carries a street price of $215.00.

HGST G-DRIVE Mobile with Thunderbolt Specifications:

  • Capacity: 1TB
  • Interface: 1x Thunderbolt, USB 3.0
  • Drive Speed: 7200 RPM
  • Compatibility: Mac OS 10.7 and up; Windows 8, 7, and Vista
  • Size (L x W x H): 5in (127mm) x 3.27in (83mm) x .71in (18mm)
  • Weight: .65lbs (295g)
  • Warranty: 3-year limited; unlimited tech support

Design And Build

The HGST G-DRIVE Mobile with Thunderbolt is slightly larger than an iPhone 5 in size though about twice as thick and roughly three times as heavy. It has a solid aluminum case that would fit right in with any Apple computer made over the last few years but still looks good next to any laptop. The front of the device is solid aluminum with the G emblem in the upper center and a Thunderbolt emblem in the upper right hand corner.

The sides and back are the same shade of solid aluminum. This is an improvement over older models that had black sides. While not necessarily providing a functional benefit it is quite the aesthetic improvement. The top of the device has both the Thunderbolt port in the center and a USB 3.0 Micro-B port to the right. The bottom of the device has a small light indicating use on the right hand side.

Performance

To test the HGST G-DRIVE Mobile with Thunderbolt, we measured bandwidth over Thunderbolt connected to a mid-2013 Apple MacBook Air using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test with a 5GB test file. The results showed 125.5MB/s read and 124.1MB/s write speeds. When comparing the G-DRIVE Mobile with Thunderbolt to other 1TB portable devices with Thunderbolt options, such as the Buffalo MiniStation, the 7200RPM hard drive helped add about 10MB/s to the read and write speeds. In a Windows 7 environment measuring the performance over USB 3.0, we noted speeds of 120.3MB/s read and 124.7MB/s write.

Conclusion:

The HGST G-DRIVE Mobile with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 provides a durable and stylish 1 TB portable hard drive. It is bus powered, having no need to pack an AC cord along. The drive speed is now up to 7200 RPM versus the older models 5400 RPM. And of course the dual Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 interface options give it quite a bit of host system flexibility. 

The HGST G-DRIVE Mobile with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 is great for users that need high capacity, easy portability, and fast transfer speeds. The 7200 RPM gives the device a big boost over other comparable devices out there. Though it looks like it would fit right in there with a new MacBook it can be formatted for any laptop and with USB 3.0 connection (with USB 2.0 compatibility) it can be used with older computers that may not support Thunderbolt connections. 

Pros

  • Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connection
  • 7200 RPM Drive speed
  • Excellent enclosure design

Cons

  • Single Thunderbolt interface prevents daisy-chaining

The Bottom Line

The HGST G-DRIVE Mobile 1TB with Thunderbolt is a stylish, easily portable, and reliable portable drive. G-Technology products have a long history of quality, excellent design and top-tier performance. Nothing has changed here, HGST has another category leader on their hands.

G-Technology G-DRIVE Mobile with Thunderbolt at Amazon

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