Freecom have always made decent portable hard drives, however, so do many other manufacturers and it takes something special to grab consumers attention. In steps this Freecom Mobile Drive Mg which is currently the worlds thinest portable USB hard drive designed specifically for Apple Mac’s, namely the MacBook and MacBook Pro.
Not only is it the thinnest but also one of the first to support USB 3.0 making it up to ten times faster than a USB 2.0 hard drive, if your machine doesn’t have USB 3.0 ports then you can still use the Mg in a standard USB 2.0 port. Thankfully Freecom include a USB cable which is compatible with both ports so you are good to go right out of the box.
There are three things that strike you when you first open the box, the size, weight and looks are all very impressive. First off its only 1cm thick, 12cm long and 8.1cm wide which makes it slightly wider than an iPhone 4 but no deeper or longer (give or take a few mm).
It is made of a magnesium alloy, similar to that of a formula 1 racing car wheel which makes it very light, strong and an excellent dissipator of heat. All of which are important factors for an external storage drive. The magnesium not only serves as a perfect shell for the hard drive but also looks clean, fresh and dare we say it, very Apple.
The whole thing (including cable) weighs in at 170 grams, which is about the same as an aerobe frisbee, don’t ask me how I know that but it illustrates just how light the device is.
When in use the only things to note is the USB port on the end and neat rubber feet on the bottom to keep things in place and an air cushion underneath the drive. A minuscule amount of branding has been stamped onto one end of the drive which you can only see when handling.
Stats and Usage
Using the drive couldn’t be simpler, literally plug it in and you are ready to go. You can use it as an everyday drive and can even set up Time Machine in just a few clicks. The packaging blurb states speeds of 480MBit/S which seems a little high, we managed an average of 84MB/s which is still very good for an external hard disk with no additional power supply, this figure would be even higher over USB 3.0.
Living with the device at home and on the move is a breeze, its light, small, quiet and omits less heat than other hard drives we have tested. Literally throw it in your bag and away you go. Alternatively you could even use it as a standalone Time Machine Drive on an iMac as it certainly looks the part.
If you do get stuck Freecom provides unlimited help desk support, we didn’t require this but its great to know you can speak to someone if needs be. At the time of writing the Freecom mobile drive mg was retailing at £59.99 to £75 for the 320GB version we tested. So not the cheapest around but certainly one of the best looking around.
A great performer with some useful built in features packaged in a small, attractive case.