USB Type C is being rolled out to laptops and phones, but hard drives are about to get it, too, as the high-speed connection makes its way to more devices.
Hitachi’s G-Tech division has this week announced that it will have external hard drives very shortly designed with this new port, and if you don’t quite know what we’re talking about, this is the new USB Type C technology.
If you’ve never seen it before, the port can look a little like Apple’s Lightning port, with a softened rectangle designed for a cable that can be plugged in any way. There’s no up or down, and this “reversible” design makes it just that much harder to break.
It’s also reversible in such a way where the hard drive and the computer both take the same port, so you can’t plug the cable in the wrong way at all, making it easier across the board. A plug back to standard USB — USB Type A — will also be made available, and G-Tech will build the same drive in the standard USB 3.0 connector also, in case you don’t use USB Type C at all.
For all intents and purposes, you’ll be able to think about this new drive regardless of which connector you get it with as much of the same as what is out there, but in the case of the Type C variant, with one less cable for new computers supporting the USB Type C format, including machines like Apple’s super-slim MacBook and the HP Spectre x2.
In many ways, G-Tech’s release is about supporting future devices, with most computers released this year expecting to support the USB Type C port, as well as some phones and tablets, too, and this will come through support from either Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.1, both of which rely on the same port but offer different speeds.
Beyond the use of that upgraded port, however, G-Technology is focusing on speed, telling GadgetGuy that the portable drives being announced this week are made to work with USB Type C’s 5Gbps speeds, but Thunderbolt 3 will be coming later on as well.
“From our highly flexible Evolution Series and sleek black G-Speed line to our new colourful USB Type-C portable drives, we always strive to deliver quality, performance and style,” said Mike Williams, Vice President and General Manager of G-Technology.
“Getting consumers to backup and protect their stuff can be difficult, but we hope that our new fast and stylish G-Drive Mobile USB-C and high-capacity G-Drive Mobile USB 3.0 drives will encourage people to safeguard their most valuable personal data.”
Inside the G-Drive Mobile options — USB-C for the Type C port and USB 3.0 for the current standard of the USB 3.0 port — you’ll find a 7200RPM drive, a little faster than the general 5400RPM drives most externals rely on, while the casing is made from aluminium.
G-Technology is known for using some special sauce hardware in some of its hard drives with boards and fans that tend to help speed up the drives, but in the G-Drive Mobile options, the company hasn’t confirmed if any of this is coming.
That suggests to us that the G-Tech G-Drive Mobile units are probably just fast hard drives with fast USB connectors, but when they’re available for review, we shall confirm properly.
Release isn’t for a month or two locally yet, though, with G-Technology’s people telling GadgetGuy that Australia will see 2TB and 3TB versions of the mobile drives “later in 2016” rather than the immediate time frame Americans will be getting them.