A couple of months ago I made the hasty decision of buying a second hand Macbook from Amazon UK for use in school instead of relying on my home system laptop. At the time I realised that when it arrived, I would need to buy a secondary external memory stick or bank to keep files as well as back up anything I required. I was however quite taken aback from the cost prices of a 500GB capacity memory hard drive, figuring that I would also be able to use or partition the memory drive with back up files, should anything go wrong and as an expressive arts specialist where videos are constantly being produced, 500GB is the minimum amount of memory I need to store all the work files that get created.
Strangely enough thereafter the G-Drive's purchase, the second-hand Macbook developed an internal hard drive fault, was taken to the Mac Store in Glasgow who declared that it could no longer be fixed since it is a 2004 model. Still, with my existing laptop, the G-Drive offers very good value for money and I didn't bother shopping for it at the Apple store, but rather finding it cheaper to buy from Tesco.
Nar2's Quick Skip Product Spec
* Model: G Tech G-Drive 500GB External Slim Memory Drive (Hitachi.).
* Three-year warranty as standard.
* Mac-friendly formatting, Plug & Play.
* Single USB BUS driven external hard drive.
* Single USB 2.0 cord supplied (Now with 3.0 USB interface).
* General price £75 to £80 (Avoid some Mac stores as they tend to charge £90 to £120!)
* Compact design: 0.7 inch thick, size 12.5cm by 8cm, 0.5kg weight.
General Quality, Design & Features
For the price the super lightweight Hitachi G-Drive 500GB is well made and mine cost me £80 from Tesco.com initially before buying another at the Mac store in Glasgow that cost a very reasonable and price beating £65. Seamlessly, smooth, tactile to the touch and rectangular with rounded angles with an aluminium exterior, it is very thin and easy to slip into a pocket, compact laptop bag or even a shirt pocket; even though I have now bought a hard case cover for it and it's a slight downside that the G-Drive 500 doesn't come with a soft case as it would protect the dark silver paint that adorns this model. It is available in pearlescent white or aluminium silver.
Outside the product, Hitachi offer a good support network for this drive product as well as other products they sell for Mac owners. It is well worth checking out their website as there are other systems you can buy and the support links are also well thought out.
General Performance & Downsides
Generally there isn't much I have to say about the Hitachi G-Drive's performance but for the fact that I find it super quick to drop files into as well as upload files already on it. This may be down to the fact that the one I bought has the latest 3.0 USB point on it, even though it can still use 2.0 formats. The actual drive itself does have a security-loaded software patch built in, should you wish to activate it and for all intents and purposes, it does the job it is required to do, meeting all the requirements I need in an external memory hard drive and with its plug and play ability. So far I have been able to download 500 music files, old review documents, photos and just endless software patches for various Mac affiliated programs and devices on my computer. The Hitachi just gobbles everything up in an instant and there are customable icons to let your file folder look different as a bonus! Naturally this external memory drive is made for Mac computers and its look seamlessly blends in with most models. The Hitachi requires OS system 10.5 or higher for it to work successfully.
One of the aspects that I was delighted to find with the G-Tech G-Drive 500 is the customable folder option that allows me to view two different sizes of icons for the various files I have added on the actual volume. The font sizes can also be changed from size 10 to size 16 for better viewing. To access these settings, all I require to do is to look at the properties of one file to change the view and whatever setting I wish to use, applies to rest of the files on the drive. I wish my Firelight external hard drive had these options!
Very silent in use too, the only way of being able to tell if the G-Tech G-Drive has been plugged in is a tiny white LED light that comes on the left hand side to where the main USB cord chip is located, in the centre. The main "G " emblem in silver isn't that far and away from the UK TV programme, "The Gadget Show," and possibly last year I may well have seen the Hitachi being put though testing that made the purchase experience memorable. However, for those thinking that the memory drive will work off the Apple wired keyboard, think again. It seems the USB slots on my Apple keyboard isn't powerful enough for the Hitachi to draw power, thus requiring to be plugged into the actual computer's USB slots.
Another downside is that the G Tech G Drives are made specifically for Mac systems, which is always nice to know that if you are an Apple owner, at least you can use other products that aren't as expensive as Apple's own! The G Drive will work on a PC but it needs to have Windows XP or an earlier version.
If there is another downside, then it's the short 60cm USB lead that Hitachi equips with this model. It doesn't reach very far, citing that despite its "mobile" associations down to the physical size of the memory drive, you'll need to place this near to a computer's corresponding USB slot.
Although I have another external hard drive for another computer, I am generally impressed with what Hitachi's G-Drive 500GB external memory drive offers and with faster speeds that minimises drama and waiting time. Ideal for Mac users on the basis that it offers a good and alternative back up drive for Mac Air, isn't too expensive to buy and suitable for similar small notebooks that Apple sell, the Hitachi is also well made, easy on the eye and with such a large capacity on offer to boot, uploading and downloading files to and fro is super quick, minimising the effort whilst being near silent when it runs. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2012.
USB cable (3.0, compatible with 2.0)
Quick Install Guide
Interface: USB 3.0
Connector: USB cable
Data Transfer Rate: USB 3.0: up to 5Gb/sec
Power: USB bus-powered
System Requirements: Mac OS® 10.5 or newer and an available USB 3.0 or
USB 2.0 port