Freecom Hard Drive Pro review

£84
Price when reviewed

There’s no reason why a hard disk enclosure should be a particular shape, but the Hard Drive Pro’s unfamiliar form takes a little getting used to. Still, it will sit unobtrusively on your desktop or on top of a system unit, and it has a relatively small footprint.

Freecom Hard Drive Pro review

At the front of the drive, there’s a blue “500GB”, which lights up when the drive’s switched on and flashes during file transfer, redundantly drawing attention to the drive’s capacity. Beside it sits the power button and Freecom’s special feature, the sync button.

The idea of the sync button is that you can keep copies of your files on the external device, then press the sync button to have the changes automatically propagated back to the original files. It works in the other direction, too, as you’d expect, because Freecom Sync is actually a front end to the little-used Windows Briefcase feature. However, the button only works while Freecom’s own transfer manager is running and, annoyingly, there’s no option to reprogram what it does. Thanks to these two limitations, we fear the button won’t see much use.

Round the back, the Freecom has a sparse but sensible set of connections: there’s a full-sized USB connector, an eSATA port and a standard 12V coaxial power socket, which you might appreciate should anything happen to your power supply. As with most desktop drives, there’s also a Kensington security slot.

If you want a 500GB drive, the Freecom is a decent option, and it’s especially appealing when you realise that its competitors from LaCie and Buffalo don’t offer eSATA.

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