In OS X the G-DRIVE Mini shows just a hair under 750GB. On the disk is a set of icons you can use (the one pictured is the default) to display the drive on the desktop and in the get info window.
Before we recap performance, let’s take a second to talk about the overall package. The drive comes with a nice carrying case which keeps the brushed aluminum shell from getting marred while transporting. It comes with three different white cables for various connections – USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and FireWire 800. The cables are bit thick and rather inflexible but do the job without too much fuss. There is also an included disk with drivers, manuals, and icon image files as mentioned above. Absent is an AC adapter but all Macs and most PC’s should be able to power the drive through the FireWire or USB ports.
The 750GB version is selling for about $150 but expect prices to fluctuate for the worse with hard drive supplies being hampered by mother nature. There’s also a G-DRIVE Mini 500GB version that’s about $20 cheaper. The drive itself is simple to use and if you have a Mac, the drive comes already pre-formatted for the HFS+ file system out of the box. The curvy aluminum design is very Mac-like and does a nice job of dissipating heat. Throughout the testing, the enclosure never felt anything more than lukewarm. The drive makes surprisingly little noise during operation which is always a concern. Performance was great and limited by the interface on all accounts but more so with the USB 2.0 connection. Mac users will definitely want to use the FireWire 800 connection if available to get the best data throughput. However, with Thunderbolt products starting to roll out, Mac users will start looking towards those devices for external storage because the bandwidth jump will be enormous. PC users with eSATA ports will be better served with a compatible drive although this can be a little less user friendly due to the requirement for an external power source.
Hitachi hard drives have a pretty good track record in terms of reliability and comes with a standard 3 year factory warranty to cover any defects. The G-DRIVE Mini appears to be rather sturdy and took quite an effort to get the enclosure apart so no worried about it falling apart. Since the HDD is of the 2.5″ variety, the drive plus enclosure is small enough to not be burdensome to carry around which is critical since really this is a product more geared towards notebook users who can’t just add another drive for storage in their system. This may be all the more attractive to those with SSDs since they tend to be much lower in capacity on average.
Legit Bottom Line: The G-DRIVE Mini from G-Technologies (Hitachi) is a nice addition to any notebook computer needing extra or backup storage although more so for Mac users than PC users with the FireWire 800 interface being the best option for data speeds.