Freecom Hard Drive XS USB 3.0 review

Tom Morgan
11 Jun 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Plain looks hide a very competent external hard disk; the Hard Drive XS has plenty of storage and doesn’t cost the earth



2TB hard disk, USB3, 31x82x114mm

Flashing lights, brushed metal enclosures and wild designs all have their place, but sometimes all you need is something simple like Freecom’s Hard Drive XS. It packs 2TB of storage into a basic rectangular case made from rubber, designed to stop it slipping off a desk.

Freecom Hard Drive XS USB 3.0 back

Freecom claims the Hard Drive XS is the world’s smallest desktop hard disk, and we’re inclined to agree; it’s small enough to carry in one hand, mainly because the enclosure is little more than a protective skin that wraps around the hard disk inside. The tight fit ensures that vibrations aren’t transferred to other surfaces and doesn’t pick up fingerprints. A bundled software suite includes an energy-saving Green Button program, designed to reduce the amount of power used by the disk, as well as Nero BackitUp for protecting your important files.

Freecom Hard Drive XS USB 3.0

In spite of its plain looks, the disk supports USB3 for faster file transfers. This helped it achieve excellent read speeds of 148.3MB/s and 61.2MB/s when handling large and small files respectively. Write speeds were more disappointing at 48MB/s for large files and just 15.3MB/s for small files. However, the overall average is still fairly reasonable for a USB3 external disk.

It isn’t amazingly fast, despite impressive read speeds, but the Hard Drive XS is still a great portable disk. The design is understated and its compact dimensions won’t take up a lot of room on a desk, or in a bag if you decide to take it on the move. At roughly £100, it’s also surprisingly good value. There are cheaper desktop discs, such as the Western Digital My Book Essential, but they don't have the XS's portability.

Basic Specifications



Hard diskSamsung HD204UI
Formatted capacity1.81TB
Price per gigabyte£0.05
Disk size3.5in
Power connectorExternal
Spindle speed5,400rpm
Seek time9.0ms
Power consumption idle5W
Power consumption active6W

Buying Information

Backup software includedFreecom Backup Software 2.08, Freecom Personal Media Suite
Warrantyone year RTB

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