[wpcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]The trend of portable storage devices shrinking in size has been occurring since their creation. As the hard drive technology has improved dramatically over the last few years the size has decreased impressively, although the capacity increase is more impressive.
Today we are taking a look at a fairly small, and certainly unique, portable or mobile storage solution. It incorporates the lastest interface, USB 3.0 and our version fits in a decent 320GB, although Freecom do sell a 640GB version.
The packaging is a bit special and looks to be designed by Apple, however this is perfect for sitting on a shelf in a retail store as it does look good.
Freecom have included a Quick Install Guide, although we think this is rather unnecessary, as well as a very short USB 3 cable. Clearly Freecom expect you to have a USB 3.0 port on the front of your case, or even a USB 3.0 hub, else this length cable is truly useless.
The product itself, does certainly have the Leather look, and is literally a 2.5″ hard drive with a Leather surround. The Leather does feel to be of a good quality, and has the Freecom logo inscribed in the bottom left.
We now move onto the performance of this drive, and as its USB 3.0 we certainly expect good things, on the other hand, it is using a low-power 2.5″ hard drive and so we expect that the speeds might be limited.
[wpcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]This drives performance is certainly not the best, in fact the Seagate GoFlex Ultra Portable drive produced Read speeds of up to 115 MB/s which is quite a big margin over 63.6 MB/s and as such we aren’t that impressed by the Freecom drive.
On the other hand, although we can’t test it specifically we do know for a fact that the Freecom drives draws less power than the Seagate drive so the Freecom drive is more compatible.
Unfortunately, due to the speeds limited by the Freecom Hard drive, using a USB 3.0 interface is less than 3 times quicker than USB 2.0 and while this speed improvement is good, we aren’t sure if its worth the extra cost that they will have certainly had to add to this device to use USB 3.0 instead of USB 2.0.
It must be noted however that the Freecom Mobile Drive does come pre-installed with several pieces very useful premium software which enhance the users experience and allows you to back-up very easily. The back-up software they have used is made by Nero and as such is not Freecoms own.
In terms of the looks we do quite like the Freecom drive, it also feels very nice to hold and carry, however, we aren’t that impressed with the design, more specifically the design of the cable that has been included. It is too short for it to be used in most situations and you end up having to balance the drive in an awkward position so that it can reach a free USB port.
It is of course perfect for using with your laptop, except that you have to carry around this extra little cable, which could easily be misplaced, to use your drive.
We feel that it might of been an improvement if they had included the cable into the drive somehow, so that it was always present. Either that or included a space in the drive to store the cable, just like with the Seagate GoFlex Ultra Portable drive in which the cable fits easily into the back of the included carry case.
As this drive is the size of your standard card wallet and slightly larger than most mobile phones, it is clearly in a different league to the Flash Pen or Memory Stick Drives that offer smaller capacities in a tiny space. If you want something that can store a lot of data at a sensible price point then a Portable Hard Drive is your best option.
The Freecom Mobile Drive is certainly one of the smaller portable hard drives on the market currently, and even in its smallest 320GB form, it offers a lot of data capacity for the size of the drive. On the other hand however, it is we feel an awkward size, in between something small enough to fit in your pocket and something you’d need a carry case for.
While the price of the Freecom Mobile Drive is a fairly reasonable £78.91 for the 320 GB version, we feel as the 640 GB version can be had for £107.92 currently this is certainly very good value for money.
The performance is certainly not the best, but it is definitely a handy little drive to have around, especially if your laptop features USB 3.0 ports and as the drive comes pre-loaded with Nero back-up software it will complement your laptop perfectly.