And the new G-Drive is indeed very slim, almost as thin as the GoFlex, but it's clearly wider and longer than the My Passport Edge. Still, it definitely belongs to the small group of compact portable drives currently on the market. The new drive supports USB 3.0 and showed very good performance in my testing. That, plus its sturdy build and the affordable price of around $90 for 500GB, makes it an excellent buy for mobile users, especially MacBook Air owners.
But you can use the G-Drive Slim with any computer, including Windows machines, as long as you know how to reformat it. If you want a drive to use with Windows right out of the box, I'd recommend the GoFlex Slim or the My Passport Edge.
|Drive type||2.5-inch external USB hard drive|
|Connector options||USB 3.0, USB 2.0|
|Capacity of test unit||500GB|
|Dimensions (LWH)||5.06 inches by 3.23 inches by 0.39 inch |
|Weight||0.33 pound |
|OSes supported||Windows 2000 or later (reformatting required), Mac OS 10.4 or later|
Design and features
The G-Drive certainly is slim, at 0.39 inch, and it looks thinner than it actually is. The G-Drive's aluminum chassis looks good, and matches the design of the MacBook Air.
On one side, the G-Drive Slim has one Micro-USB 3.0 port. This port works both for data and power. All you need is a standard Micro-USB 3.0 cable (a foot-long cable is included) to make the drive work. Being bus-powered is now a standard feature on USB portable drives. The G-Drive supports USB 3.0 but also works with USB 2.0. I tried it with many ports on many different computers, and all of them were able to power the drive and get it connected to the host computer.
The G-Drive Slim is designed for Mac and is preformatted in the HFS+ file system. Once plugged into a Mac running OS 10.4 or later, the drive works immediately, and it supports Time Machine. In my trials, it worked with Windows computers, too, though as I mentioned, I needed to reformat it into NTFS, which took a few seconds. Otherwise, plugging it in is the only thing you need to do in terms of setting it up.