Freecom Mobile Drive XXS 160GB review

  • £50

A tiny 160GB hard disk with a tiny price… but a big flaw

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Our Verdict

A bold, competitive effort, but we'd just be too worried about damaging it and losing data

For

  • Very cheap. Very compact. Clever SATA-less drive. Bus-powered

Against

  • Minimal protection. Only a short cable supplied
Buying options

We were all set to give this little portable hard disk a glowing review. It's tiny, has a cute black rubbery finish and it's cheap. Unfortunately, it also has a fatal flaw.

The reason the Freecom Mobile Drive XXS is so small is that it's basically just a bare hard disk wrapped in a slightly kinky, velvety rubber sheath. And unlike any other drive we've seen before, there's not even any space taken up by an interface to convert a hard disk's SATA connection to USB.

Instead, this is a special Samsung hard disk where the circuitry for the bridge is built into the drive; it doesn't have a SATA connector, just a mini-USB port. Essentially, this is little bigger than a bare 2.5-inch hard disk. Just the millimetres-thick rubber case protects the drive, giving it very small overall dimensions.

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Tech Specs

OS requirementsApple Mac OS 10.4 or later Microsoft Windows 2000 Microsoft Windows XP Microsoft Windows Vista
Capacity160
Internal/ExternalExternal
InterfacesUSB
Drive speed5400
Drive width2.5in
FeaturesApple Time Machine compatible