To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Freecom ToughDrive Leather 320GB review

Freecom ToughDrive Leather 320GB
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £100
inc VAT

The 320GB ToughDrive Leather feels sturdy, but it's overpriced and its looks won't suit everyone.


hard disk, USB2, 20x89x147mm

Freecom claims its 320GB ToughDrive leather is shock and drop resistant from up to a height of 2m onto a flat surface. The plastic case certainly feels sturdy enough, but we weren’t fond of its brown, faux-leather appearance which wouldn’t look out of place on a 1980s car dashboard. Looks are always a matter of taste, but to our eyes the ToughDrive is just plain ugly.

A short captive USB cable encased in rubber tucks neatly away into a top-mounted slot when not in use. It’s fine for use with a laptop, but you’ll almost certainly need the included two-plug extension lead to plug it into a desktop PC.

The bundled NTI Shadow backup software can either back up your files automatically in the background as you work or at certain times of day according to a schedule. It can even retain older versions of your files in case you accidentally delete an important file or change something you wish you hadn’t. The interface is cluttered, but it’s still a useful application to have if you don’t already own a backup utility.

There weren’t any nasty surprises in our file transfer tests – the ToughDrive performed very well. Large files were written at 30MB/s and read at 28.6MB/s. Small files were written at 26.6MB/s, which is faster than many desktop USB and FireWire disks, and read at just under 18MB/s.

Unfortunately, this decent performance and useful software is offset by the ludicrous price. £100 for a 320GB disk equates to a staggering 31p per gigabyte. Considering the fact that there are other disks such as Hitachi’s Rugged Portable Drive 500GB available for a much lower price (and higher capacity), we simply can’t recommend the ToughDrive Leather.

Basic Specifications

Rating **


Interface USB2
Weight 212g
Size 20x89x147mm

Buying Information

Price £100
Warranty two years

Read more