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Compact external hard drives now spin faster, too

G-Technology offers first pocket-size external hard drive that harnesses 7,200rpm notebook hard drives.

The G-Drive mini Triple is rugged with its all-metal casing Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

More and more vendors have been joining the bandwagon of pocket-size portable external hard drives and it's interesting to see how each of them manages to make their product unique in its own right. The G-Drive mini Triple from G-Technology is one example of this.

The drive sports a very rugged, metallic look with its aluminum casing that also works as the cooling solution. Despite having metal all over, the drive is still very light, weighing only around 9 ounces. Designwise, the G-Drive is compact, however, if the Signature Mini appeals to the ladies, the G-Drive definitely screams masculine.

The G-Drive supports all USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800 data connections. Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

The version I have in my hands on today is the first drive I've run into that not only operates at a fast 7,200rpm (as opposed to 5,400rpm of other drives), but also backs that up with a high 200GB capacity. Whether this translates into higher throughput remains to be seen and CNET Labs will figure this out soon. The G-Drive mini Triple also comes in other sizes ranging from 160GB to 250GB. However, the high-speed version is only available in 200GB. (While the 5,400rpm 2.5-inch hard drives hit the 500GB mark a while ago, the top space for 7,200rpm version still remains at 200GB for now).

The "Triple" in its name refers to the fact that the drive features all available connection types for compact external hard drives: USB 2.0, FireWire 400, and FireWire 800. I reviewed the OWC Mercury recently that offers the same flexibility in data connection, but the Mercury is noticeably larger than the G-drive. Like the Mercury, the G-Drive also offers bus-powered capability with any of those connections and still comes with an external power port for older computers, of which the USB/FireWire ports may not have enough juice to power the drive. Most of the time, you will not need that adapter and it's only available as an accessory that you can order from G-Technology's website.

The G-Drive mini Triple works with both Mac and PC, though it's preformatted for Mac. It is available now for $279 for the 7,200rpm version or $259 for the 5,400rpm version. You can also get smaller sizes for cheaper prices accordingly.