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

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Hitachi Australia G-Drive Slim 500GB
  • Hitachi Australia G-Drive Slim 500GB
  • Hitachi Australia G-Drive Slim 500GB
  • Hitachi Australia G-Drive Slim 500GB
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Reasonably fast
  • Slim design
  • Similar styling to MacBook family

Cons

  • Case scratches easily
  • Audible during operation
  • USB only

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

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

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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?