Hitachi G-Drive Slim (500GB) review: Hitachi G-Drive Slim (500GB)

Typical Price: $109.95
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Random 4K performance quite good. Very slim and light.

The Bad USB 2.0 interface limits performance.

The Bottom Line 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 Overall

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)

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra Portable USB 3.0 (1.5TB)
93
93
Hitachi G-Drive Slim (500GB)
20.32
20.55
Seagate FreeAgent (first generation, 160GB)
19.36
20.62
Samsung S2 500GB
18.79
19.57

Legend:

Sequential read
Sequential write

Note:

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

512K random data (MBps)

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra Portable USB 3.0 (1.5TB)
40
21
Hitachi G-Drive Slim (500GB)
15.22
20.51
Samsung S2 500GB
12.47
19.59
Seagate FreeAgent (first generation, 160GB)
12.26
14.85

Legend:

512K random read
512K random write

Note:

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

4K random data (MBps)

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra Portable USB 3.0 (1.5TB)
0.55
0.28
Hitachi G-Drive Slim (500GB)
0.42
0.85
Samsung S2 500GB
0.24
0.71
Seagate FreeAgent (first generation, 160GB)
0.27
0.46

Legend:

4K random read
4K random write

Note:

(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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