Freecom Mobile Drive XXS review
Light on features, but it's tiny, cheap and ferociously quick.
Review Date: 12 Nov 2008
Reviewed By: Mike Jennings
Price when reviewed: £49 (£56 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The Freecom's packaging proudly proclaims that the Mobile Drive XXS is the "world's smallest 2.5in hard drive", and a glance at the device in question seems to support these claims. It's the smallest and lightest disk in this group, with a weight of 146g - 32g lighter than its nearest competitor - which means if you carry it around regularly, you'll barely notice it in your pocket.
Such a small size means sacrifices have been made elsewhere, however. The only interface available is mini-USB - the Plextor drive isn't much bigger and offers eSATA too - and there's no separate DC input, either, so if the device it's connected to can't supply enough juice over USB you have no way of accessing files on it.
The light weight also comes at the cost of protection. The Freecom's drive is covered by just a thin rubber jacket with a slit in the top for easy access to the disk inside. Other products - such as the Seagate and LaCie - are sturdier and still weigh less than 200g.
While there are few features, in our performance tests the Freecom more than held its own. The XXS took 1.6 seconds and 1.8 seconds to read and write our single 50MB file, and under eight seconds to perform the same operation with our demanding 100MB collection of files.
Another feather in the Freecom's cap is its remarkably low price. At £49 (exc VAT), it's the cheapest portable drive, offering the best pence-per-gigabyte figure in this category.
What this means is that, if you can put up with the slightly dubious rubberised case, the Freecom represents a very good deal. Not only is it small and light, it's also very quick and dirt cheap; only its flimsy design and lack of features keeps it from winning an award.
Author: Mike Jennings
- How to remove the U2 album from an iPhone: iTunes antivirus tool launched
- Windows 9 Technical Preview launch date revealed
- Why Microsoft was forced to buy Minecraft
- New Windows 9 videos show off multi-desktops and notification centre
- BT and mobile networks warn of rising cost of Scotland split
- Phones 4u collapse puts iPhone 6 orders in doubt
- Chromebook owners get access to Android apps
- SanDisk lets you pop half-terabyte card in your camera
- Windows 9 video shows new Start menu
- iPhone 6 goes on sale... and retailer sites go down
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- The best smartwatches of 2014: what's the best smartwatch?
- Best of IDF: top tech and memorable moments from Intel's tech show
- How Apple Pay works and how to use it on your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch
- How to use remote-access software
- Tech support horror stories
- Become a tech support superhero
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office