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Review: External Disk Roundup

by Ryszard Sommefeldt on 28 February 2004, 00:00

Tags: Freecom, Maxtor, Seagate (NASDAQ:STX)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qawt

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Freecom FHD-2 60GB USB2.0

Freecom box

The box is small, as you'd expect for a 2.5" drive in a small enclosure that doesn't need an AC adaptor to function. Nevertheless there's an AC adaptor in the box, since not all USB implementations can provide enough power to keep the drive spinning at all times. I found that out when using the Freecom with an ASUS P4S800D-E that I reviewed recently, its USB2.0 ports would drop their power when having to feed the disk for long periods, when copying a lot of files from the Freecom to the main SATA disk connected to the board. AC power will be needed in some cases, but in the main, you should be able to get away with leaving it at home, making it a truly small, portable disk solution.

Freecom front

Freecom back

Excuse the poor pictures, its black casing made it hard to light acceptably well and I didn't have the time to take shots with a white background. You can see the cut out space for the FireWire version with single USB2.0 port on the version I took a look at. AC adaptor port is standard on all external disks, but as mentioned before, you don't necessarily have to use it in the Freecom's case.

It barely weighs as much as a modern mobile phone and its small size makes it perfect for carrying around with a laptop in a carry bag, or even just in your pocket. When I dragged a laptop I have for testing out into my local town centre for some 'testing', I just slung the Freecom in my jeans pocket, it's even small enough for that.

Truly portable, the Freecom makes the perfect travel companion just by virtue of its tiny dimensions, never mind the storage capacity it also brings with it.

The box contents run to the drive, its AC adaptor, a small CD with drivers for older operating systems, a tiny manual that's well written and contains all the information you'd need to get up and running, should plugging a cable in be too much of a struggle, plus the cable itself. Bare, but functional. No extra software, backup or otherwise, was supplied with the FHD-2, although Freecom usually bundle something in the box, although I'm not too sure what.

Finally, the drive has a switch on its side, hard to depress so you can't activate it by accident, that turns the device on or off. Since it's possible to power the disk via the USB bus, being able to completely power it down when not in use is something you'll be keen to do in a truly mobile scenario, to save it draining your laptop's batteries.