Hitachi G-Drive Slim (500GB)

If you have limited physical storage space, the G-Drive slim will appeal greatly to you. Given the OS X focus, we'd imagine it'll be some time before we see this with a USB 3.0 interface — yet we await that day with baited breath.


8.0
CNET Rating

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CNET Editor

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


The Hitachi G-Drive Slim, it must be said, is incredibly attractive, and, as the name suggests, rather slim. At 7mm thick, the silver-powder finished drive will easily slip into any laptop bag or, alternatively, a purse.

It's aimed at MacBook Air owners, but the packaging that we received had very little on it to indicate this, including the fact that it's formatted with HFS. Windows users could thus be a little confused, as without a visit to Disk Management, the drive won't show up on their system.

To spite its prettiness, the G-Drive Slim has been hobbled with USB 2.0, which manufacturers continue to call "high speed", despite swathes of evidence to the contrary. CrystalDiskMark proves the point:

Sequential data (MBps)

  • Sequential read
  • Sequential write
  • 9393
    Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra Portable USB 3.0 (1.5TB)
  • 20.3220.55
    Hitachi G-Drive Slim (500GB)
  • 19.3620.62
    Seagate FreeAgent (first generation, 160GB)
  • 18.7919.57
    Samsung S2 500GB

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

512K random data (MBps)

  • 512K random read
  • 512K random write
  • 4021
    Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra Portable USB 3.0 (1.5TB)
  • 15.2220.51
    Hitachi G-Drive Slim (500GB)
  • 12.4719.59
    Samsung S2 500GB
  • 12.2614.85
    Seagate FreeAgent (first generation, 160GB)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

4K random data (MBps)

  • 4K random read
  • 4K random write
  • 0.550.28
    Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra Portable USB 3.0 (1.5TB)
  • 0.420.85
    Hitachi G-Drive Slim (500GB)
  • 0.240.71
    Samsung S2 500GB
  • 0.270.46
    Seagate FreeAgent (first generation, 160GB)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)


The GoFlex Ultra Portable listed here is a USB 3.0 drive, thrown in for comparison's sake. As you can see from the sequential data, even an ancient, first-generation USB 2.0 drive from Seagate manages to bump up against the interface's limits; it's not until we get into 4K random data where the drives start differentiating. Here the Hitachi performs incredibly well, even when compared to the USB 3.0 drive.

If you have limited physical storage space, the G-Drive slim will appeal greatly to you. Given the OS X focus, we'd imagine it'll be some time before we see this with a USB 3.0 interface — yet we await that day with baited breath.



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