G Technology External Hard Drive – Hard drives are like many ideas; Everyone has at least one. For serious, travel photographers, hard drives are the lifeblood of any expedition. When you don’t have a safe, secure, reliable drive you can use to back up your files, your cards fail, or you just rely on copying them to your laptop, your journey of a lifetime can change anywhere. A big disappointment. .
- 1. G Technology External Hard Drive
- 2. Sandisk Professional 12tb G Drive Enterprise Class Usb 3.2 Gen 1 External Hard Drive
- 3. G Technology G Drive 18tb Usb C External Hard Disk Hd Gduc18t
- 4. Buy G Technology G Drive With Thunderbolt 3 Storage Drive Online
- 5. Best Buy: G Technology Armoratd 1tb External Usb 3.1 Gen 1 Portable Hard Drive Black 0g10433
I always like to carry a hard drive (or two, or three) with me when I travel. I actually label the drive with a physical adhesive label as, you guessed it, a travel drive.
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This is how my workflow goes when I’m working remotely. I copy my SD memory cards to my Apple laptop. I then copy the same contents to a portable drive. Finally, I have enough memory cards that I don’t need to format in the field, so essentially I have at least three copies of each photo at the end of each day.
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Because some of my work requires expensive and extensive travel arrangements to foreign locations, if my files get corrupted and I don’t have a backup, I can’t take the same shots again.
Regardless of where the computer and memory cards are stored, the hard drive is always (without exception) on me. Whenever I feel the hard drive in my pocket, I know I have at least one safe copy of my images in case my laptop and/or camera/cards are stolen, lost or damaged in transit.
I’ve tried a variety of portable drives and decided to give the G-Tech 4TB Armor ATD drive a try. I don’t like using cheap hard drives for this important task, and I especially don’t like taking standard drives with me that aren’t designed for travel and can follow potential abuse.
So the first thing I want to check is how solid the G-Tech driver really is. It’s billed as an “off-road” vehicle that can take a beating. The product is manufactured with three layers of shock resistance. It includes a rubber bumper, an aluminum housing, and some internal shock absorbers. The drive is rated to withstand 1000 pounds of pressure and a drop of up to 3.3 feet onto a carpet or concrete floor. It is also IP54 rated, which provides protection from rain, sand and dust.
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I didn’t really have a way to test its rain and dust resistance claims, but if it has an IP54 rating that’s good enough for me. Now onto the things I can test…
While I don’t have fancy scientific testing equipment to test all of the manufacturer’s claims, I do have years of personal experience with being an incompetent idiot! First I asked myself, “How could I possibly ruin this thing?” I tried to ask. My immediate thought was that I could sit on it. Although I am actually the president of the Horizontal Challenge Photographers of America (this is a joke pointing to the fact that I am fat) I don’t weigh nearly 1000 pounds. Anyway, I decided to sit in the driveway using different chairs. I hurt my ass but not the driver. In my opinion, the cross test is passed. But now let’s move on to my area of expertise; Drop test. How does it work for me in real life? I had caught the drive with my laptop on the hotel table and casually knocked it off the table and onto the floor. As you might have guessed, this is how I tested the G-Tech. I put it on the table and threw it on the table and it hit my very thin carpet with a loud thud. I bought the drive, connected it and it worked fine. I tested the driver by dropping it from the back of my pickup truck bed onto the linoleum garage floor. There was another clicking sound, but again the drive was not damaged. Drop test passed.
Putting aside my concerns about durability, I tried using the drive to see how it performed. I have the 4TB version, which is more than enough storage for any trip I might take. It’s powered by the computer via the included USB-C cable, which is nice because lugging around another power brick isn’t something I’m looking at. G-Tech is rated for transfer speeds of up to 135 MB/s.
To test this, I used BlackMagic Design’s BlackMagic Disk Speed Test. I ran it a few times and the fastest I could get was 119.6 MB/s. It’s a bit off G-Tech’s benchmarks, but it’s still plenty fast for my needs.
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I loaded about 500MB of photos onto the drive and removed it from the drive and found it to perform very well. It connected to my iMacPro via USB-C.
I haven’t tested it on a Windows machine, it’s compatible with both Windows and Mac out of the box and requires no reformatting.
I would like to note that I have seen some reviews of this unit where people complained that the cable between the drive and the computer was not secure. If this is true then there might be a problem so I tested that as well.
If the wiring system is too loose, you can’t prove it to me. See photo below. I’m holding the cable connected to the drive, but not the drive; So the cable is strong enough that I can lift the drive from the cable. I think it’s fine.
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I think the G-Technology 4TB ArmorATD Rugged Drive is a good value. G-Tech is a famous company with a great history. They stand behind their products. ArmorATD comes with a three-year limited warranty and unlimited free technical support from representatives experienced in the latest material manufacturing practices. It also comes with a cable to fit USB-C computers, but a traditional USB adapter is also available for those with older systems. For $170, it offers great value for money. There are 1TB and 2TB configurations available for $90 and $120 respectively.
Up to this point I’ve used the same driver from LaCie, but I think the G-Tech is $70 cheaper, making it a better value.
So what is my decision? Those new to my reviews may appreciate my rating scale. I have three basic assessments.
(FTC Disclosure – I received this review unit from B&H and was asked to share my honest opinion – which I did. I was not asked to allow G-Tech to read the review prior to publication, and they did not restrict my view. . All I can say is (That I liked it so much that I bought one as a backup that I ordered more.)
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