Notebookcheck

Review Freecom Mobile Drive Mg 320 GB USB 3.0

Tobias Winkler (translated by Martina Osztovits), 03/12/2011

Small, smaller, smallest? The Mobile Drive Mg from Freecom is hardly bigger than the 2.5" drive inside. Its Simple design and fast USB-3.0 interface should draw the attention of potential customers.

Quite a huge number of external 2.5" hard drives is already offered by now. Which model meets my demands most? What should I consider? Is the power supply sufficient? It's not always easy  to separate the wheat from the chaff. In the Mg with 320 GB capacity Freecom focuses on mobility. However, you have to pay quite a steep price of 80.- Euro plus postage for this feature.

the cable of the Mg is sufficiently long
the cable of the Mg is sufficiently long
smaller and lighter than usual
smaller and lighter than usual

Reduction. The design of the Mg is simply a magnesium cover and as a result it is not only very small, but also looks decent. The logotype is decently imprinted on the top end. So, you'll have to take a closer look to find out the manufacturer of the external drive.

The slim-line model only weighs 140 g (without cable), which is the lowest weight we measured for external 2.5" hard drives so far. In addition, having a size of just 120x80x10 mm, it is also the smallest drive under review by now. The case is very stable and looks resistant. On the bottom useful feet prevent slipping and the rear houses the only available interface, USB 3.0 vorgesehen. But, it does not feature an additional power supply.

Inside, there works a 320 GB hard drive from Hitachi at a revolution speed of 5400 rpm. Therewith it belongs to the slower breed of conventional mass storage devices. A maximum transfer rate of up to 83 MB/s is possible. The average of 63 MB/s is still decent.

In the Crystal Disk Mark it achieves a sequential read and write rate of about 75 MB/s. So, the full speed of the hard drive is available via USB-3.0 and, contrary to slower interfaces (USB-2.0 FW), the interface does not slow down the performance. Please also refer to our HDD benchmark list for further information on this issue.

The power supply profits from the Hitachi drive being frugal at start-up. A maximum of 4.5 Watt meets the USB 3.0 specification, i.e., a maximum of 900 mA. In our tests, the hard drive always started reliably on different computers, no matter whether being connected  via the computers' USB-2.0 or USB-3.0 port. So, limitations are unlikely.

HD Tune
HD Tune
Crystal Disk Mark
Crystal Disk Mark
external USB 3.0 hard drives in comparison
external USB 3.0 hard drives in comparison

Verdict

The Mobile Drive Mg from Freecom proves to be very interesting. It is very light, very small and features a reliable power supply, because its hard drive is frugal. The performance conforms to the speed of the Hitachi-hard drive inside and the maximum of 83 MB/s is on par with the competition.

However, the current price of 0.25 euro per gigabyte is quite steep and means a big surcharge for the case. Alternative models with a better price-performance-ratio are unfortunately heavier and bigger.

In Review: Freecom Mobile Drive Mg
In Review: Freecom Mobile Drive Mg
the magnesium case is just 10 mm high
the magnesium case is just 10 mm high
very decent logotype
very decent logotype
up to 83 MB/s are possible via USB 3.0
up to 83 MB/s are possible via USB 3.0
rubber feet ensure grip
rubber feet ensure grip

Shortcut

What we like

so small and light...

What we'd like to see

... a better price performance ratio

What surprises us

... the consequent design from Freecom

The competion

The Seagates GoFlex Serie is very flexible in use and can be rather freely configured. Only the Lacie rugged series with 7200 rpm hard drives and the OCZ Enyo SSD were able to achieve transfer rates above 100 MB/s so far.

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Freecom Mobile Drive Mg 320 GB USB 3.0
Author: Tobias Winkler, 2011-03-12 (Update: 2013-06- 6)