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Freecom Mobile Drive Mg 1TB review

Alan Lu
23 Apr 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A sleek-looking portable Thunderbolt hard disk, but it’s slow and expensive



1TB hard disk, USB3, Thunderbolt, 130x80x150mm

Freecom’s latest mobile hard disk has a robust metal build designed to complement Apple Macs, but it’ll look stylish next to any computer and is easily small and slender enough to slip into a bag or large coat pocket.

Freecom Mobile Drive Mg 1TB

It also comes in a variety of capacities. We took a look at the 1TB model which provides 931GB of storage space when formatted as NTFS. It has just one Thunderbolt port so it’ll have to be at the end of your device chain if you want to connect multiple Thunderbolt devices. You’ll also need to buy a Thunderbolt cable separately as none is included, which will add extra cost to your purchase. Thunderbolt cables aren’t cheap either, and currently cost around £25-£50. The disk also has a USB3 port, which is of course backwards compatible with USB2, and a USB3 cable is included.

The Mg uses a single 5,400rpm laptop disk, specifically the Toshiba MQ01ABD100, so it was never going to match the startlingly fast performance of the very first Thunderbolt storage products, which used 7,200rpm desktop disks in RAID arrays.

When connected by Thunderbolt, it wrote large files at 71.9MB/s and read them at 108.8MB/s. Small files were written at 38.3MB/s and read at 50.4MB/s.

Surprisingly, it was just as fast when connected via USB3, and performed better when writing large files, doing so at 91.2MB/s. The two interfaces were otherwise evenly matched, with large files being read at 108.7MB/s and small files being written and read at 37.5MB/s and 49.9MB/s respectively.

Freecom Mobile Drive Mg 1TB

The Mg is clearly aimed at Mac users. It comes preformatted as HFS+, but it’s easy to reformat it as NTFS in Windows. No backup software is included, as all modern Macs come with the Time Machine backup utility.

At £199, or 20p per gigabyte, the Freecom Mobile Drive Mg costs roughly the same as other portable Thunderbolt hard disks. Unfortunately, it costs a lot more than a USB3-only disk, and you can currently buy the 1TB USB3-only model for less than £100 on The Mg just isn’t fast enough to justify its high price making it poor value, so you may want to a USB3 disk if you need fast portable storage.

Basic Specifications



Hard diskToshiba MQ01ABD100
Formatted capacity931GB
Price per gigabyte£0.20
Disk size2.5in
InterfaceUSB3, Thunderbolt
Power connectorUSB3 from host, Thunderbolt from host
Spindle speed5,400rpm
Seek time12.0ms
Power consumption idleN/A
Power consumption activeN/A

Buying Information

Backup software includedNone
WarrantyTwo years RTB

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