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G-Technology G-Drive mobile 500GB

portable drive features FireWire 800 connectivity and a 5400rpm hard drive By John Virata

G-Technology has a new mobile drive targeted at users of Apple's MacBook Pro that is built around the FireWire 800 interface and a 5400rpm Hitachi hard drive. Called the G Drive mobile, the portable FireWire drive is formatted for Apple computers and is a Time Machine Ready 500GB drive. The drive features a new piano black top while the sides and bottom are brushed aluminum, in part to match Apple's line of aluminum MacBook Pro notebook computers.

This drive is bus powered, so no AC adapters are needed, and since the device is preformatted for the Macintosh, no drivers are needed. Just plug it in and start using it. In addition to the hard drive, you also get a USB 2.0 cable, a FireWire 800 to FireWire 800 cable, and a FireWire 800 to 6-pin FireWire 400 cable for legacy systems.

The G-Drive mobile has a different look than that of the G-Drive mini. While the mini uses an all aluminum enclosure complete with a built in heat sink and a drilled look on the front and sides of the drive, the G-Drive mini retains a more MacBook Pro "unibody" look to it and adds a piano black top complete with a big G logo. The bottom features six rubberized feet. There is no heat sink and no other industrial look to it.  In other words, it perfectly matches the look of the aluminum unibody MacBook Pro. Is it a better design than that of the G Drive mini? Personally I like the design of the G-Drive mini, with its drilled sides and built in stackable design.

G-Drive mobile 500GB

To move a 2.2GB file from a 13-inch MacBook Pro  (7200RPM 500GB Seagate Momentus hard drive), to the G-Drive mobile 500GB (465GB formatted) using the FireWire800 connection took 47 seconds. Compare that to a G-Drive mini 500GB circa 2008 which took 1:05 seconds to move the 2.2GB file using FireWire 800.

The dual interface G Drive mobile connects to your Mac via FireWire 800 or USB 2.0. There are no on/off switches on the drive as it is powered by the host Mac. It is formatted (465GB) out of the box for the Macintosh, and is built around a 5400RPM Hitachi SATA drive with 8MB cache. Plug it in and the little white LED on the front of the drive lights up. When transferring data to the drive, the light blinks, then glows solid after the transfer is complete.

Front of the G-Drive mobile

Rear of the G-Drive mobile features two FireWire 800 ports and a USB 2.0 port.

The G-Drive mobile features a piano black top.

In addition to the G-Drive mobile hard drive, you also get a 0.6 meter USB 2.0 cable, a 0.6 meter FireWire 800 to FireWire 800 cable, and a FireWire 800 to six pin FireWire 400 cable.

First Impressions
G-Technology has been making professional hard drive solutions for the Mac for years and has always backed its drives up with generous warranties. The G Drive mobile comes with a three year warranty, has a different look than that of the mini but still looks better than a lot of the external hard drive solutions for the Mac. Its solid aluminum enclosure is accented with the piano black top, but I still like the look of the G-Drive mini. G-Drive mobile 500GB is priced at $149 MSRP. For more information, visit

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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at
Related Keywords:external hard drives, storage, mobile storage, FireWire 800 storage,

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