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Freecom Hard Drive XS USB 3.0 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £102
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

Rating ***


Hard disk Samsung HD204UI
Capacity 2TB
Formatted capacity 1.81TB
Price per gigabyte £0.05
Disk size 3.5in
Interface USB3
Power connector External
Spindle speed 5,400rpm
Cache 32MB
Seek time 9.0ms
Weight 860g
Size 31x82x114mm
Power consumption idle 5W
Power consumption active 6W

Buying Information

Backup software included Freecom Backup Software 2.08, Freecom Personal Media Suite
Price £102
Warranty one year RTB

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