As a MacBook owner, USB-C peripherals are still a little hard to come by, but the accessory situation has improved significantly over the past year. One of the latest USB-C-centric peripherals to hit the scenes is an external bus-powered hard drive from the folks over at G-Technology. If you’re looking for a way to quickly offload files to and from your MacBook, the G-Drive is a good option.
First, the particulars. This is a 1TB external spinning disk hard drive. As such, it’s not as fast as solid state offerings, but it comes pretty close to its 136MB/s speed rating. The speed of the drive is thanks to the 7200 RPM Western Digital hard drive enclosed inside the aluminum and plastic housing.
The best thing about this drive, besides its usage of USB-C, is that it’s bus powered. This means that you can easily connect it to your MacBook with a single USB-C cable and handle your business. G-Technology includes two extra-stout looking USB-C cables — one, a USB-C to USB-C cable, and another USB-C to USB-A cable for interfacing with older hardware.
The mobile USB-C drive features USB 3.1 Gen 1, which maxes out at 5Gbps. Of course, the speed of the drive won’t come close to saturating the amount of available throughput, but it’s worth noting.
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At 5.08″ x 3.23″ x 0.51″, this is a portable drive that can easily fit in a bag, backpack, or even your pocket. Not only is it small, but it’s lightweight enough at 6 oz. that it won’t weigh you down.
Most importantly, the drive comes very close to its speed claims. Using my go-to benchmarking app, QuickBench, the average read speeds hovered around 127MB/s and write speeds weren’t far behind that.
G-Technology states that the mobile USB-C drive works with Apple’s Time Machine, and I can vouch for the legitimacy of that claim. Not only did it play nice with Time Machine backups, but it was also recognized by my AirPort Extreme base station when connected to its USB port.
There are a few concerns that I wanted to highlight about this drive. First, the status indicator light is right next to the USB port on the drive’s housing. If you wish to view the status indicator, you’ll need to point the drive’s USB cable towards you, which isn’t ideal in my opinion.
While the drive does features top and bottom aluminum panels, the panels are thin and feature a black plastic perimeter that makes the overall build quality feel one step below premium. Neither of the aforementioned complaints would keep me from using the drive, however.
Thanks to the availability of adapters and specialized USB-C cables, you don’t necessarily need a USB-C-enabled hard drive to connect to your MacBook, but if you’re looking for one of the simplest configurations available, and you don’t mind having a spinning disk, then the mobile USB-C Drive from G-Technology is a solid choice. You can find it for $119.95 (with limited 3-year warranty) in MacBook-specific colors exclusively from the Apple Store.
If you’re looking for additional options, you might also check out LaCie’s Porsche Design USB-C drive. Starting at $109.99 on Amazon, these drives come in 1TB, 2TB or 4TB varieties.
Are you using an external drive with your 12″ MacBook? If so, how?