With the ever-increasing demand for data storage, high-capacity drives have become more common place with every major hard drive manufacturer having released their own version of the large data capacity drive and at the same time, promising that theirs is the definitive choice and most worthy of your hard-earned cash.

Having been a long-time user of Western Digital and Seagate hard drives I decided to give Samsung a shot as I’m a huge fan of their products.  After seeing what was made available to me I ended up buying a pair 1TB Samsung ‘G3 Station’ external drives and I’m pleased to report that they don’t disappoint.  Inside the box you will find – G3 Station External Drive (of course), an AC adapter (not USB powered I’m afraid but it’s something I had anticipated given the size of the drive), a USB cable and preloaded software (for Windows platform).  Samsung also offers a standard 3 year-limited warranty on the product.

The G3 Station also employs ‘EcoTriangle’ – a green friendly technology resulting in low power consumption, low acoustic noise (it’s the quietest drive I’ve ever heard) and it uses eco-friendly components.  The drive wont start-up without the USB cable plugged in and because it has no power switch the drive will power up and shut off automatically whenever Windows 7 starts up or shuts down.  The G3 Station comes in a 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB variant and you’re given two colours to choose from – Cobalt Black and Silver White.  The most unique aspect of this drive is the stylish multi-faceted exterior that literally sparkles in the sun (though never enough to annoy), it has a sort of snake-like skin look to it though officially Samsung says; “the case sparkles in the sun, much like sunlight filtering through leaves of a baobab tree swaying in the wind.”  I still reckon it looks like snake-skin…

Sadly, no product is perfect and the G3 Station is no exception.  As stated before, the drive has no power switch and while this doesn’t really bother me, there are plenty of people who will be annoyed by it.  In fact, earlier today I wanted to shut down the drive so usually I’ll do a safe removal in Windows and then pull out the USB cable though this time I couldn’t because – “there may still be programs in use on the drive”, even though there wasn’t and because there was no on/off switch I had to restart Windows in order to ‘free up’ the drive.  Another thing to note is that when the drive is idle, it takes 10 – 15 seconds to spin up when you try to access a file, not a train smash but a little annoying.  Finally, the most annoying thing about the G3 Station (though not really a hardware fault as opposed to a manufacturer one) is Samsung’s choice of formatting the drive with FAT32 instead of NTFS.  It took 16 hours to reformat each drive to NTFS (full format is best because it simultaneously checks for errors and bad sectors) and it’s necessary if you intend on storing files larger than 4 gigs in size.  As there is no software disk bundled with this product, you’d probably want to copy the preloaded software to an external source before formatting the drive.

To conclude, The Samsung G3 Station, is an excellent product perfect for backing up large amounts of data.  Though the USB 2.0 interface does throttle the transfer speed somewhat, this and the few aforementioned annoyances can be overlooked as the pros far outweigh the cons.  A stylish drive that’s cool, quiet and easy to transport, highly recommended purchase.

Price – R999 @ Hard Wired Computers (Cape Town)

Email – hardwiredcomputers.cc@gmail.com