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May 22, 2016

G-Technology G-Drive mobile USB-C review – CNET

by John_A

The Good The G-Drive Mobile has good performance and works with both USB-C and regular USB devices, right out the box.

The Bad The drive’s storage space caps at 1TB and it’s significantly more expensive than other non-USB-C drives of the same capacity and storage type.

The Bottom Line Get the G-Drive Mobile if you want a solid-performing USB-C drive, but don’t want to pay SSD prices.

d-drivemobileusb-c-1.jpg

The G-Drive Mobile USB-C comes with two standard USB cables, permitting it to work with any computer on the market.


Dong Ngo/CNET

You know the new MacBooks that include a single USB-C port as the extent of their connection options? G-Tech’s G-Drive Mobile USB-C portable drive was made for computers like those. Thankfully, G-Tech was thoughtful enough to pack it with two USB cables: one USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A cable which lets you use the drive with a non-USB-C computer.

The $130 drive houses a normal laptop hard drive inside, so it’s not as fast or as expensive as solid-state drives (SSD) such as the Samsung Portable SSD T3 or the SanDisk Extreme 900 (each of these drives costs over $400 for 1TB). Still, there are better deals out there for non-USB-C drives; the WD My Passport Ultra costs just $125 for a whopping 3TB.

Out of the box, the G-Drive is preformatted in the HFS+ file system, which means it will work with Macs without any kind of setup. Like all portable drives, however, you can easily reformat it to work with Windows or any other operating system. There are three color options: space gray, gold and silver. Space gray and gold are available exclusively at Apple Stores.

CNET Labs’ high-speed USB portable drive performance

Samsung Portable SSD T1

158.3

292.42

SanDisk Extreme 9000 Portable SSD (USB 3.1)

312.6

259.53

Samsung Portable SSD T3 (USB 3.1)

311.1

240.91

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt All-Terrain

155.7

227.43

Seagate Expansion

125.2

127.93

G-Drive Mobile USB-C (USB 3.1)

109.9

125.75

Buffalo MiniStation Extreme

110.3

118.82

WD My Passport Ultra (Spring 2015)

110.2

117.34

Seagate Slim

110.4

111.49

WD My Password Slim

107.7

107.89

WD Elements

95.7

102.15

Legend:

Write
Read

Note:

Measured in megabytes per second. Longer bars indicate better performance.

The drive supports the USB 3.1 gen 1 speed standard and delivered a sustained copy speed of 110 megabytes per second (MB/s) for writing and 126MB/s for reading, clearly slower than the more expensive Samsung or SanDisk SSDs, but still plenty fast for everyday activities like backups or movie playback. It doesn’t include any backup software but both Windows 10 and Mac OS have great built-in backup tools.

All things considered, if you’re looking for an affordable USB-C portable drive, the new G-Drive Mobile USB-C is a relatively cheap alternative to SSD-based portable drives. Those looking for a non-USB-C portable drive should check out this list for more affordable options.

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