Review: G-Drive mobile hard drive features USB 3, FireWire 800

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At a Glance
  • G-Technology G-Drive mobile (USB 3, FireWire 800)

G-Technology’s G-Drive mobile is a portable, bus-powered external hard drive designed to compliment your Apple laptop. It has an attractive aluminum case, a three-year warranty, and boasts USB 3 and FireWire 800 connectivity. The drive comes formatted as HFS+, so it’s ready to use right out of the box with Macs new and old.


In the lab, we tested the G-Drive mobile using both USB 3 and FireWire 800, and the drive yielded middle-of-the-road results. In the AJA System Test, the drive produced write/read speeds of 58.4 MBps and 76 MBps over FireWire, while USB 3 transferred at 95.9 MBps and 97.3 MBps. Via FireWire 800, the drive wrote a 10GB file at 60.3 MBps and read the same file at 80.7 MBps, and wrote a 10GB folder at 60.MBps while reading the same folder at 70.8 MBps. Over USB 3, we found write/read speeds of 98.5 MBps and 101.4 MBps for the 10GB file, and write/read speeds of 94.5 MBps and 92.9 MBps for our 10GB folder. Overall, these speeds are comparable to WD’s My Passport Studio and Seagate’s Backup Plus, both of which cost less than the G-Drive mobile.

With each new Mac release, FireWire becomes increasingly obsolete. The MacBook Air, new iMacs, and Retina MacBook Pros all ship with USB 3 ports, but you need an adapter to attach to the G-Drive mobile’s FireWire connection.

For users who are looking to add external storage capacity, this drive will suffice, but if you’re in need of a high-performance drive, look for an external drive with Thunderbolt, RAID 0, or SSDs.

Bottom line

G-Technology’s G-Drive mobile is a competent external drive with a longer-than-average warranty. Although it has been updated to offer the faster USB 3 technology, the transfer speeds over this connection were average. There are other drives that are more affordable and offer higher performance, more security, and higher capacity. Ultimately, though, if you like the design, and you're happy with its 1TB capacity and reassured by its three year warranty, the G-Drive mobile will serve capably as a general purpose bus-powered external drive.

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Two FireWire 800 ports
    • USB 3.0 support
    • Three-year warranty


    • Unimpressive performance
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