Product Type: Freecom External Hard Drive
Newest Review: ... due to the surface. That really annoys me as you need to effectively have to hide it away. It's certainly not a well designed piece of ha... more
A tale of two halfs on this hard drive!
Freecom Hard Drive XS 2 TB
Member Name: eddyfenton
Freecom Hard Drive XS 2 TB
Advantages: Seems well built, decent performance.
Disadvantages: Question marks over reliability, annoying dust attracting rubber case.
This external hard drive is billed as the world's smallest 3.5" external unit. not sure if that's really a big selling point as external drives are always going to be fairly compact and no one will design one that's larger than it really needs to be. What a couple of inches here or there when it's going to most likely sit on a desk or under a desk etc.
It's not that small really, and it's quite heavy. It also comes with a rubber coating that I assume helps keep the vibration down and protects the unit to a certain degree. However, the coating marks very easily, attracts dust, which is then VERY hard to clean off due to the surface.
That really annoys me as you need to effectively have to hide it away. It's certainly not a well designed piece of hardware that you'd have next to your monitor or whatever. It's a 'practical' black brick design.
Power and connectivity.
This unit need to be powered via the supplied PSU. Data connectivity is via USB 2.0 (but can work slower on an older USB port). Bear this in mind as you'll need to ensure you have it plugged into the main to use it. This causes an extra hassle to consider. I don't like the idea of the hard drive being permanently powered up, I prefer to use it when I need to. So, I unplug it from the power when not in use. This means a bit of manual management. I assume by doing this I may extend the life of the unit, but others might be able to tell me I'm wrong so I'd welcome comments on that.
Well, I know someone who also bought one of these at the same time that I did. It failed within weeks. Now, this may have been the interface inside the unit, it could have been the hard drive itself - but the fact is that it failed. So in my experience it has a 50/50 rate of failure.
I know that true reliability will be far higher than that, but in the absence of other reviews, the jury is still out on that aspect.
What I can say is that although I don't use my drive very often it is still working ok after a year.
I'm very pleased with the performance. I was a little worried that USB connectivity would slow things down, but it transfers and play large video files absolutely fine. Backing up very large amounts of data does take a while, but I'm talking many gigabytes worth at a time and that can rely both on Windows, and the other hard drive. I don't believe that any other unit with this spec would perform any better.
It's small enough to be mobile, but don't forget to take your power supply. Good performance and robust build. Good price for the storage space. Just don't totally rely on this unit for data that you cannot afford to lose. Use it as 'another' back up of your data. I'd offer the same advice regardless of the make or model of hard drive.
Summary: Decent choice if you get a good price.
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