A few months ago, I published a review about the G-Drive Mobile USB-C Portable Hard Drive. It’s a very cost-effective portable drive designed to work with computers that interface with USB-C. G-Technology actually has two other USB-C hard drives in its product line — the G-Drive Slim SSD and the G-Drive mobile USB-C Gen 2. As much as I loved the original G-Drive Mobile USB-C, I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to be able to test out the second generation version of the same drive.
While I do want to discuss the differences between the first and second generation hard drives, I also want to feature the details of the newer device on their own. The hard drive is designed to be a plug-n-play device. You can transfer data at speeds of up to 140 MB/s with a USB 3.1 port and the drives come in capacities of up to 4TB. The G-Drive has a stylish design with an aluminum case that compliments Apple computers. There are three color choices — space gray, silver, and gold — and the retail price ranges from $80 up to $150. In addition to being able to back up documents, videos, this hard drive is ideal to use for Time Machine backups. The drive is backed by a 3-year warranty.
Gen 1 Gen 2 Interface USB Type-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1)
USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 compatible USB Type-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1)
USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 compatible Drive Speed 7200 RPM 5400 RPM Transfer Rate Up to 136 MB/s Up to 140 MB/s Compatibility macOS 10.9+
Windows 10, 8.1, 7 (via reformat) macOS 10.11+
Windows 10, 8.1, 7 (via reformat) Dimensions 5.08″ x 3.23″ x 0.51″ 4.33″ x 3.23″ x 0.41″ Release Date August 2, 2016 July 10, 2018 Capacity Sizes 1TB 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Just like the previous version, the G-Drive Mobile USB-C Gen 2 hard drive comes in a G-Technologies branded box. The front of the box features the hard drive’s capacity and a few other details like what cables are included in the package. This is much appreciated as I like to have quick information available at a glance when I am in a store shopping. I believe having this information front and center makes it easier for consumers to find what they want without a hassle.
One of the features that makes this drive so affordable is the mechanical hard drive inside. As I mentioned above, G-Technologies does offer an SSD version of this drive, but it’s quite a bit more expensive. This drive is designed to be portable so as long as it’s not slammed around a lot, it should hold up well. One thing I noticed with this hard drive is that it operates almost silently. If you put your hand on top of the case you can feel gentle vibrations as the hard drive reads and writes data, but it doesn’t make any sound at all.
This second generation Mobile USB-C drive has a smaller case than the previous version. It’s about 0.5” shorter and 0.10” thinner than the first gen model. To me, this is a benefit because it’s even more portable then it was before. One huge difference between the two models it the RPM speed of the hard drive inside. The first gen model featured a 7200RPM drive while this model has a 5400RPM drive. I don’t know why G-Tech decided to make this change, but it should be noted that it doesn’t seem to affect the overall read/write speed of the drive too much. The images below show the speed difference between the two models as captured by a Blackmagic Speed Test. You will see that it’s not that big of a difference.
G-Drive Mobile USB-C 1st Gen
G-Drive Mobile USB-C 2nd Gen
In addition to the Blackmagic Speed Test, I ran an AJA Speed Test which will test a hard drive based off of certain perimeters for video processing. It’s a rather extraordinary piece of software because you can actually select things like “4096×3112 4K-Full” as the video resolution and the software will run the test as though you are actually copying that type of file to your drive. I love using this test because it gives you a semi-real world example. In this case, the read/write times for the AJA Speed Test were slightly lower than the overall disk speed test that Blackmagic does. I tested the read/write speed of the drive with a 4K file and a 1080P file type and the read/write speed was exactly the same. The screenshots are included below.
The final test I ran was to set up the G-Drive as a Time Machine drive. This process is really fairly simple. You open the Time Machine preferences on the computer and select the G-Drive as your Time Machine back-up. Since this was the first time I used the drive for a Time Machine backup, it took a few hours to complete the data transfer. After that, the hard drive was able to record new events every hour without any complications. I didn’t notice any excessive heat build-up on the hard drive from operating that long and I think it did a great job of acting as a Time Machine backup.
There are very few things that this portable hard drive can’t do. It’s easy to transport, easy to use, and it has the versatility of being able to be used as a Time Machine backup drive. Because of its affordability and overall durability, I can wholeheartedly recommend this hard drive to others. I didn’t perceive any issues with it being a 5400RPM mechanical drive and it worked really well for everything I used it for.
Originally published at macsources.com on October 26, 2018.