• Price: 74 . 84 . 121 . 77

  • Company: Formac

  • Pros: Great looks. USB 2.0 and FireWire connections. Y-shaped USB cable to ensure full power delivery.

  • Cons: No option of 7,200rpm drive.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

Hard drives aren’t the most exciting part of a designer’s desktop, so it’s always nice when one comes along that combines aesthetics with functionality.

The Disk mini has obviously been designed with Apple’s Macbook laptop in mind, but it’ll look great in any creative workspace. It's available in two versions, the white Oxygen and the black Raven. As with the MacBook, there’s a price premium for the black version, but it’s only a matter of a few pounds.

The drive is small enough to slip into a back pocket and as light as an iPod.

Its smooth, shiny exterior is only broken up by a lightly embossed Formac logo, red and green connection/transfer lights, and a line of connections at the back.

It’s tough and largely immune to scratches – though not fingerprints – and there’s a shock absorption system to soak up minor knocks caused by regularly carrying it around.

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There’s a choice of mini USB 2.0 and FireWire connections, plus an external power input – though no power pack is bundled with the Disk mini. You shouldn’t ever need one though, as FireWire always provides enough power and the drive ships with a Y-shaped USB 2.0 cable that plugs into two ports on your computer to ensure enough power is delivered. This will only be a problem on computers with single ports on the front – such as the old Power Mac G5. These days creatives have USB sockets all over the place.
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<p>
Data copying using Disk mini was decent, if unspectacular. For example, copying 10GB of data to the drive took 11 minutes 25 seconds, which is about average for this type of drive.
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<p>
There’s a wide choice of models available, ranging from 60GB to 160GB – which is available in black only. This is true for the competition too, and some of these offer a few models with faster 7,200rpm drives inside. All of the Disk minis use standard 5,400rpm drives.
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What differentiates the Disk mini from the competition is the FireWire connection and its great aesthetics. Which is good enough for us.
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