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Freecom Hard Drive XS 3.0 1TB review

Freecom Hard Drive XS 3.0 1TB
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £118
inc VAT

The Freecom Hard Drive XS 3.0 is a fast USB3 hard disk, but it's pricier than the competition and a touch slow at writing small files.


1TB hard disk, USB3, 31x112x180mm

In contrast to some of the more elaborate external hard disk designs, the Freecom Hard Drive XS 3.0 has a featureless plain black appearance. It’s made out of a soft rubbery material rather than metal or plastic.

We’ve seen this design before on Freecom’s portable disks, where the sturdy rubber makes sense for a disk designed to be carried around regularly. We’re not convinced it’s a wise choice for a desktop disk though, since the rubber design doesn’t have any cooling vents. Although it didn’t become terribly hot during our tests, it’s hard to be convinced about its long-term durability.

There’s no stand, so it can’t be positioned vertically to save space on your desk. No backup software is included either, which is odd since backup software is bundled with other Freecom disks we’ve seen.

As its name suggests, the XS 3.0 is a USB3 hard disk and it performed well in our large files test. It wrote large files at just under 92MB/s and read them at 107.1MB/s. It was a little slower than we expected when writing small files, managing 57.9MB/s.

This is still faster than any eSATA disk, but not by much. We suspect this performance hiccup may be due to the fact that the Samsung hard disk inside the XS 3.0 uses a power-saving 5,400 rpm spindle speed instead of a quicker 7,200rpm. We didn’t see any issues when reading small files though, with a result of 81.8MB/s.

The 1TB Freecom Hard Drive XS 3.0 is very fast, as we’d expect for a USB3 disk, but there’s no compelling reason to choose it over any other USB3 disk. It’s quite expensive at 12p per gigabyte and the lack of vents is a touch worrying. Unless you can find it cheaper elsewhere, Buffalo’s cheaper DriveStation USB 3.0 1TB is even quicker. If you have more money to spend, Western Digital’s 2TB My Book 3.0 is better value.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***


Hard disk Samsung EcoGreen F2 HD103SI
Capacity 1TB
Formatted capacity 931GB
Price per gigabyte £0.12
Disk size 3.5in
Interface USB3
Power connector external
Spindle speed 5,400rpm
Cache 32MB
Seek time 8.9ms
Weight 826g
Size 31x112x180mm
Power consumption idle 4W
Power consumption active 6W

Buying Information

Backup software included none
Price £118
Warranty one year

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