The Good Inexpensive, low power consumption; small footprint; bedazzled case design; three-year warranty.
The Bad Included backup and password protection software doesn't support Mac OS.
The Bottom Line With its embossed cover and rainbow of colorful designs, the Samsung G2 Portable hard drive is a consumer-focused external hard drive that offers the most basic plug-and-play storage functionality. You don't get many extras, but impressive benchmark scores, a competitive cost-per-gigabyte, and a generous three-year warranty demonstrate its core competency and earn this drive our CNET recommendation.
The G2 Portable, along with the recently reviewed S2, is the latest series to enter Samsung's family of 2.5-inch external hard drives. Samsung offers both the G2 and S2 drives in capacities up to 640GB, but only the G2 carries the EcoTriangle label to indicate low power consumption and minimal noise emission. The 500GB black version ($89) Samsung sent us for testing blasted through our throughput tests with high marks in both read and write scores, while fashionistas and designers alike will appreciate its glittered chassis. Coupled with an affordable cost per gigabyte, the Samsung G2 Portable hard drive earns our recommendation for anyone in need of a basic external hard drive.
Design and features
The G2 is slightly thinner than the S2 Portable at 3 inches wide, 4 inches long, and less than an inch thick, although both fit easily into a jacket pocket. The weight of the device varies slightly according to capacity, but most travelers won't have a problem with its size, especially if the drive winds up in a carry-on bag or a laptop case in transit.
Get 2TB of cloud storage for life for $39.99
It almost sounds too good to be true, but UK-based Zoolz is the real deal. Plus: three bonus deals!
Samsung SSD 850 Evo SSD hits 4TB
The new massive capacity shares the same look, performance and features as existing capacities and is available now at the suggested cost of $1,500.
Get a 480GB solid-state mSATA drive for $139.99
The ultimate upgrade for your Ultrabook or other ultra-slim laptop, this mini-SATA drive normally sells for at least $200. Plus: two bonus deals!
Get a leave-in 32GB USB 3.0 flash drive for $15.99
This impossibly tiny drive barely sticks out of a USB port, so you can leave it there all the time. Great for storage-strapped laptops!
This is the best Cyber Monday to get a solid-state drive
CNET editor Dong Ngo comments on the low pricing of solid-state drives this Cyber Monday.
Get a 4-terabyte external hard drive for $119.99
This mammoth Samsung drive features auto-backup software and a three-year warranty.
Get a 250GB Samsung SSD for $139.99 shipped
This top-rated drive normally sells for at least $50 more. It's an awesome upgrade for laptops and desktops alike.
Samsung launches 1TB mSATA mini SSD
Samsung is beefing up ultrabook storage space and speed with the first 1TB solid-state drive in the miniature mSATA form factor.
Seagate's new line of hard drives
Company announces nine products, including a 60-gigabyte drive for phones and a drive optimized for security cameras.
Storage giants to push hybrid hard drives
Seagate, Hitachi, Samsung, Fujitsu and Toshiba partner to promote combo of flash chips and magnetic platters. But where is Western Digital?
The face of a kinder, gentler Seagate
newsmaker The disk drive maker's CEO, Bill Watkins, explains why hard drives are profitable again.
In storage, it's small, smaller, smallest
From hard drives to memory cards, the trend clearly is to downsize. But how tough are the diminutive devices?