Freecom Toughdrive 256GB review
256GB hard disk, USB3, 140x80x20mm
The Freecom Toughdrive is a USB3 SSD, but despite using the latest storage technology it uses a case that’s been around for a long time and dates back to around 2008.
There’s nothing wrong with a tried and tested design, but the Toughdrive’s casing is both a liability and a benefit. The thick, chunky silicone feels rigid and sturdy, but it adds a lot of bulk and we’d have preferred a slimmer case. SSDs are already robust due to their lack of moving parts.
A small stubby USB3 cable is built into the top of the Toughdrive and, it neatly folds away when not in use. Although this ensures the cable can’t be lost, its short 7.5cm length means the Toughdrive will dangle when plugged directly into many PCs, and potentially put undue strain on the PC’s USB connector due to the Toughdrive’s 172g weight. You can, of course, use a USB extension lead, and it’s a shame one isn’t included. For laptop users it's pretty much ideal though, with no lengthy leads to clutter things up.
You’d expect the Toughdrive to be fast, and it didn’t disappoint. The Toughdrive wrote large files at 187.1MB/s and read them at 230.4MB/s. Small files were written at 107MB/s and read at 73.4MB/s. Compared to a USB3 5,400rpm hard disk, the Toughdrive’s the twice as fast at copying large files overall and many times faster when copying small files overall. The Toughdrive will, of course, work with USB2 connectors, but you’d lose much of the SSD’s speed advantage if you do.