Hitachi G-Drive Mini external hard drive
A fast, portable external HDD with FireWire and USB 2.0
- Fast transfer speeds for an external drive
- Plenty of connection options
- High price at RRP
- Bulky enclosure
Hitachi's G-Drive Mini is aimed at users who need a portable drive but don't want to sacrifice performance. Inside is a reasonably speedy 7200RPM 500GB drive: not as quick as an SSD, but faster than the majority of external drives on the market. If your laptop has FireWire 800 the G-Drive Mini is a great external drive, but using USB 2.0 doesn't reveal its full performance.
Price$ 169.95 (AUD)
Hitachi’s G-Drive Mini is aimed at Mac users: its styling takes some cues from the unibody MacBook Pro, and its complement of FireWire 800 alongside USB 2.0 ports suits long-time Mac aficionados. It’ll still work on a Windows computer, of course, and its 7200RPM internal drive speed means it’s able to offer good transfer speeds (although USB 2.0 isn’t fast enough to show it off).
Hitachi G-Drive Mini: Design and features
The G-Drive Mini looks different to the G-Drive Slim, which was designed to be as thin as possible (as you’d expect). The aluminium finish is the same, but the Mini has a swiss-cheese perforated shell and a finned heatsink on the base, looking like a smaller version of the full-size G-Drive. The enclosure is relatively tall and slightly bulky for a 2.5in laptop enclosure.
Around the back of the drive, you’ll find a pair of FireWire 800 ports — one for connecting to your laptop or PC, and another to daisy-chain another FireWire device if needed. There’s also a mini USB 2.0 connector as a backup. A 12V power supply port is built into the back along with a power switch, but bafflingly no power supply is included. We can understand including a connector for external power for any situation where a laptop’s USB port isn’t able to supply enough power, but you’ll need to purchase a power supply separately. We do appreciate the inclusion of a power switch.
Hitachi G-Drive Mini: Performance and specifications
The hard drive inside the Hitachi G-Drive Mini is a 7200RPM SATA-II model with a 16MB cache — it’s the Travelstar 7K500. When it was originally released it was a high-performance drive amongst 2.5in models, but it has been around since mid-2010 and we’d be certain of better performance from a drive like the Seagate Momentus XT, if only it were available in an external configuration.
The Hitachi G-Drive Mini is more than fast enough to hit the maximum throughput of USB 2.0, maintaining an average read rate of 33.2MB/sec in our testing. Writing was marginally slower at 29.0MB/sec. Read access time was an unexciting 17.3ms. FireWire 800 produced better results with read speeds of 69.7MB/sec and write speeds of 55.3MB/sec. This is not as fast as an eSATA drive might produce, but most eSATA ports are not powered and therefore aren’t practical for portable use.
We’ll update this review with a graph of our results over FireWire 800 soon.
We think the Hitachi G-Drive Mini gives good performance over FireWire 800, and the best performance that can be expected over USB 2.0. It would make a good portable scratch disk for bandwidth-heavy programs like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere.
Hitachi G-Drive Mini: Conclusion
Hitachi’s G-Drive Mini may come in a slightly bulky enclosure, but its performance over FireWire 800 is enough to put it significantly ahead of any USB 2.0 drive. Newer laptops would be better served with a powered eSATA or USB 3.0 external drive, but older and newer Mac laptops (and desktops) could make good use of the G-Drive Mini.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- QNAP Releases QTS 4.3.4. Beta for x86-Based NAS
- QNAP ships world’s first Ryzen NAS, promising boosted Virtual Machine performance
- QNAP Rolls out Quad-core 4-bay TS-453BT3 Thunderbolt 3 NAS Tailored for Creative Professionals
- Synology Introduces New Data Storage Solutions for Home and Small Offices
- Western Digital moves on Oz consumers with new storage offering
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop review
- Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCAngular DeveloperNSW
- FTManagement Consultant - ConsultancyOther
- CCVMware EngineerNSW
- CCDynamics AX Functional Consultant ? Finance | Supply ChainQLD
- CCService management Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Project ManagerACT
- FTFull Stack .Net DeveloperQLD
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist - Senior roleOther
- TPSenior Project Manager | Service Management I ITILQLD
- CCCloud Test EngineerNSW
- FTFinancial Manager - January StartACT
- CCJunior to mid-level - Business Analyst ? AgileQLD
- FTSenior Business ConsultantOther
- FTSenior Application DeveloperOther
- CCMid - Level SAP Test AnalystQLD
- TPProject ManagerVIC
- FTSecurity Solution ArchitectOther
- TPProject ManagerACT
- TPFull Stack DeveloperNSW
- FTManager, PortfolioOther
- FTIT Service Delivery ManagerOther
- CCSAP BPC Specialist ConsultantTAS
- TPBusiness Analyst ManagerNSW
- CCAxway DeveloperQLD
- CCIT Senior Business AnalystNSW