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G-Technology G-Drive Slim review review: A hard drive with MacBook Air written all over it

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MSRP: $99.99
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The Good The G-Technology G-Drive Slim offers fast performance and a nice design for a relatively friendly price.

The Bad The G-Drive Slim could be a little more compact, and it doesn't come with any bundled software.

The Bottom Line Those with a notebook computer, especially a MacBook Air, will find the G-Drive Slim a very good companion.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.7 Overall
  • Setup 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8
  • Support 8

Review Sections

G-Technology's G-Drive Slim is the latest in a trend of ultrathin USB 3.0-based portable external hard drives on the market, directly competing with Seagate's GoFlex Slim and WD's My Passport Edge.

And the new G-Drive is indeed very slim, almost as thin as the GoFlex, but it's clearly wider and longer than the My Passport Edge. Still, it definitely belongs to the small group of compact portable drives currently on the market. The new drive supports USB 3.0 and showed very good performance in my testing. That, plus its sturdy build and the affordable price of around $90 for 500GB, makes it an excellent buy for mobile users, especially MacBook Air owners.

But you can use the G-Drive Slim with any computer, including Windows machines, as long as you know how to reformat it. If you want a drive to use with Windows right out of the box, I'd recommend the GoFlex Slim or the My Passport Edge.

Drive type 2.5-inch external USB hard drive
Connector options USB 3.0, USB 2.0
Available capacities 500GB
Capacity of test unit 500GB
Dimensions (LWH) 5.06 inches by 3.23 inches by 0.39 inch
Weight 0.33 pound
OSes supported Windows 2000 or later (reformatting required), Mac OS 10.4 or later
Software included None

Design and features
The G-Drive certainly is slim, at 0.39 inch, and it looks thinner than it actually is. The G-Drive's aluminum chassis looks good, and matches the design of the MacBook Air.

On one side, the G-Drive Slim has one Micro-USB 3.0 port. This port works both for data and power. All you need is a standard Micro-USB 3.0 cable (a foot-long cable is included) to make the drive work. Being bus-powered is now a standard feature on USB portable drives. The G-Drive supports USB 3.0 but also works with USB 2.0. I tried it with many ports on many different computers, and all of them were able to power the drive and get it connected to the host computer.

Though thinner, the G-Drive Slim is clearly longer and wider than the My Passport Edge.
Though thinner, the G-Drive Slim is clearly longer and wider than the My Passport Edge. Dong Ngo/CNET

The G-Drive Slim is designed for Mac and is preformatted in the HFS+ file system. Once plugged into a Mac running OS 10.4 or later, the drive works immediately, and it supports Time Machine. In my trials, it worked with Windows computers, too, though as I mentioned, I needed to reformat it into NTFS, which took a few seconds. Otherwise, plugging it in is the only thing you need to do in terms of setting it up.

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