Andy Westlake puts the Freecom mHDD Slim USB 3.0 mobile drive through its paces
Freecom mHDD Slim USB 3.0 mobile drive at a glance:
- Available in 1TB or 2TB capacities
- Three colour choices – silver, gold or space grey
- Price: £86 (1TB), £125 (2TB)
- Website: www.freecom.co.uk/mhddslim
Digital photography is a storage-hungry activity, so portable hard drives are useful to keep your photos safely backed up. There are a number of these on the market, but one that stands out from the crowd is this slim mobile drive from Freecom. It combines stylish design with broad device compatibility and a useful on-board software package.
Available in 1TB or 2TB capacities, the drive comes pre-formatted to be compatible with both Apple Macs and Microsoft Windows PCs. As normal, a USB 3.0 cable is provided, but usefully a USB Type-C cable is also included in the box, allowing the drive to be connected to a wider range of devices, including the latest MacBook Air. In fact, the drive is available in a choice of three colours to match Apple’s current palette – silver, gold or space grey.
Built around a 2.5in disc, the brushed-metal casing feels robust, with tiny rubberised feet on the base to help stop it sliding off a desk. Measuring just 11.4x76cm and a mere 9mm thick, it’s easy to slip into a pocket of your camera bag. The design looks smart too, although the prominent Freecom logo might not appeal to all.
The pre-installed software package includes programs for formatting the disc, securely erasing data and power saving. Windows users also get Nero BackItUp, a highly configurable back-up program that allows you to copy new or changed files on your computer to the external disc, or vice versa. When used with a Mac, the drive can be configured as a back-up disc via Time Machine. My main criticism is with the Flash-based Start software, which eels anachronistic and didn’t work properly on my Windows 10 laptop.
Otherwise, while this Freecom drive is rather pricier than some other external hard drives, its portability and powerful software package make it a decent choice for photographers looking to keep their image files backed up on the go.