Hitachi G-Drive Slim 500GB external hard drive
Hitachi's G-Drive Slim wants to mimic the MacBook Air, but doesn't get all the way there
- Reasonably fast
- Slim design
- Similar styling to MacBook family
- Case scratches easily
- Audible during operation
- USB only
Hitachi's G-Drive Slim is a slim portable hard drive designed to mimic Apple's aluminium unibody MacBook Airs and Pros. It's middling when it comes to performance figures but is definitely fast enough for the average user. We're more concerned with its easy-to-scratch case.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
Hitachi's G-Drive Slim is apparently the slimmest 2.5in external hard drive available to buy today. This naturally makes it a good choice to accompany the latest fleet of thin notebooks like the new Apple MacBook Air and the Samsung Series 9, and its styling matches the MacBook — at least in theory.
Hitachi G-Drive Slim: Design and setup
The G-Drive Slim is less than a centimetre thick at 9.9mm, and measures 82mm wide and 129mm long. It's not much bigger than a smartphone and we found we were easily able to fit it in the pocket of our jeans — we don't expect you'll be doing this often but it goes to show that the G-Drive Slim isn't bulky and won't significantly increase the girth of your MacBook Air carry case or laptop sleeve.
Techworld Australia secure storage reviews
- Group test: Encrypted external hard drive reviews
- Data Locker Enterprise review
- Data Locker DL3 encrypted hard drive review
- Eclypt Freedom 320GB review
- iStorage diskGenie review
- CMS ABSplus with Data Guard hard drive review
- CMS ABSplus FDE hard drive review
The finish of the G-Drive Slim is aluminium, like the body of Apple's recent laptop and desktop computers. It doesn't have the same smooth feel as Apple's products, though, and we found it was easier to scratch. Where Apple's laptops are virtually scratchproof we were able to leave a slight mark on the G-Drive Slim with a fingernail (though it did go away after some buffing). The matte black plastic strip running around the outside edge of the Hitachi G-Drive Slim sets off the aluminium nicely but we would have preferred Apple-esque scalloped edges.
The Hitachi G-Drive Slim only uses USB 2.0 — you can buy other hard drives in the Hitachi G-Technology range that have FireWire and USB 3.0, but they're bulkier and more expensive. Given the average performance specs of the G-Drive Slim's internal TravelStar Z5K500 2.5in HDD, we're not too fussed by the lack of FireWire but USB 3.0 would have been nice.
Hitachi G-Drive Slim: Performance
The G-Drive Slim performed roughly on par with other USB 2.0 external hard drives we've tested. Hitachi's slim drive took 6min 55sec to write 13GB of files from the Medion Akoya E7220 we used to test it, and took 6min 19sec to copy those same files back onto the notebook again. These times translate into 31.34MB/sec write speeds and 34.31MB/sec read speeds. CrystalDiskMark verified these figures with a 37.36MB/sec read and 36.34MB/sec write report. If you're regularly copying large files or folders back and forth from your USB external hard drive we'd recommend a FireWire or USB 3.0 product, but for general everyday use the Hitachi G-Drive Slim is acceptable.
We did notice that we could hear the disk head of the Hitachi G-Drive Slim clicking during its operation. A slightly audible constant click during writing or reading isn't a big deal, but in an ideal world a bit of extra internal sound deadening would have muffled the click (albeit at a slight weight cost).
Hitachi G-Drive Slim: Conclusion
If you've got a MacBook Air and the combination of looks and slim profile are important to you, we'd recommend you consider the Hitachi G-Drive Slim. If you can get your hands on one before you buy it, see whether the imperfect finish is anything you'd worry about. Otherwise it's a small drive for a reasonable price.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- AMD gets into SSDs with value Radeon R3 drives. But US only for now.
- How to recover data from a corrupt hard drive or SSD with no backup on Mac: How to delete corrupted files on external Mac drive
- Akitio's combines two speedy technologies in blazing external SSD
- Intel claims storage supremacy with swift 3D XPoint Optane drives, 1-petabyte 3D NAND
- Nvidia's DGX-1 supercomputer packs the horsepower of 250 servers
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCIT Program Delivery Office Lead- Government BackgroundNSW
- FTTechnical/Solutions ArchitectNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (.Net/JAVA/Oracle) 160504/SA/vtdAsia
- CCProject Manager PMP RMP certified - NV1ACT
- FTProduct OwnerNSW
- FTDesktop Support Technician - onsite Corporate officesVIC
- FTTechnical Business Analyst - BINSW
- CCSenior Project Manager, Technology Upgrade & RefreshNSW
- CCJava Developer- 12 month contractNSW
- CCRemedy AdministratorNSW
- CCAzure Consultant/EngineerQLD
- CCBusiness Systems Analyst - eCommerce PaymentsVIC
- CCVMWare ConsultantWA
- CCJAVA ArchitectVIC
- CCContract Programmer (Crystal Report/HTML/SQL) 160428/P/244Asia
- CCContract Contract Junior Programmer (JUD-16493-4)Asia
- CCTest Execution ManagerVIC
- CCFront End DeveloperVIC
- CCCommunication and Change ManagerVIC
- FTDesktop SupportNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/SQL/J2EE) 160511/AP/522Asia
- CCService Desk OperatorACT
- CCHealthcare Test SpecialistSA
- CCAEM/CQ5 DeveloperNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystACT