160GB hard disk, USB Hi-Speed, 13x80x110mm
The combined weight of a laptop and peripherals can quickly add up.
Freecom’s latest portable disk, the Mobile Drive XXS, weighs just 142g, which is around 50g lighter than many other portable disks. What’s more, it’s the size of a deck of playing cards, so it won’t take up too much space in your bag.
One of the reasons for its small size is the clever design of the hard disk. Most portable USB drives use 2½in laptop SATA hard disks inside their casings, which means they require SATA-to-USB circuitry to connect the disk to your computer’s USB port. The XXS doesn’t need such circuitry, as its Samsung disk already has a built-in USB port instead of a SATA connector – the first such disk we’ve seen.
Around the disk is a slender rubber sheath rather than the bulky metal or plastic casing that most portable USB disks have. This may help keep the weight down, but it doesn’t feel very robust.
The XXS isn’t the fastest portable USB hard disk we’ve seen, but it was quick enough in our file transfer tests to be suitable for almost any purpose. It costs 26p per gigabyte, so it’s not quite as good value as larger USB disks such as Memorex’s 250GB Essential TravelDrive, which costs just £10 more. It’s worth buying if you need to carry a storage device around with you and USB flash drives are too small for your needs.
|Price per gigabyte
|USB from host
|Power consumption idle
|Power consumption active
|Backup software included
|one year RTB