Freecom FHD-2 Pro -
Technologies is the leading manufacturer of portable/mobile products,
aiming to make things easier for users that want to transport their important
data anywhere. Freecom users already know the wide range of storage
solutions the company has to offer, from USB keys to optical storage devices,
such as the external 16x DVD Writer CDRInfo tested some months back.
Their latest mobile storage solution from Freecom is the FHD series and
specifically the FHD-2 Pro hard disk. It is an Ultra thin mobile 2.5" hard
drive, with a durable high quality aluminum design, equipped with
button data synchronization" system that Freecom calls SYNC Button.
Freecom FHD-2Pro is an external hard drive, that can be used to store, access
and share all your important information with the touch of a button. The main
advantages of this drive is that it does not need any AC adapter, since it
is powered by the computer's USB port and is so small, that it can fit in
your pocket. The Freecom FHD-2Pro hard drive has the following features:
- Mobile Hi-Speed USB2.0 hard drive in pocket size
- Compact, robust aluminum design
- Unique one touch data synchronization button
- Plug & Play, buspowered (no power adapter required)
- Very silent, due to "whisper technology"
- Available in 20, 40, 60 and 80GB version
- Meets the highest industry standards
- Compatible with USB1.1 and USB2.0 interfaces
- Ultra-compact and lightweight
- Hot swappable for maximum flexibility
- Two years manufacturers warranty
- Including award winning Acronis True Image software
The technical specifications of the FHD-2 Pro drive are shown below.
Freecom FHD-2 Pro
||No AC adapter needed, powered by computer through USB
||20, 40, 60 or 80GB
(depends on model)
|Hard drive type
||2.5" UDMA/Enhanced IDE compatible, low noise, low power consumption
||175g, non-operating 800g
|Average seek time
|Max. data transfer rate
||127 x 79 x 15mm / 5 x 3.1 x 0.59inch
||175 gr. / 6.17 ounce
- The Package
We received the 60GB version of the Freecom FHD-2 Pro drive. The retail package has all that is needed to get the drive fired up.
In the box, you will find two USB cables (a USB data cable, and a USB power
cable for computers that cannot provide enough current to power the hard
drive), the FHD-2 Pro, a quick installation guide, the Freecom warranty registration
form, and a CD with Freecom Personal Media Suite and Acronis True Image Software.
CD also includes device drivers that are only needed for Windows 98 systems.
It should be reminded that the offered software does not support the MAC OS.
Freecom has done a great job with the design of the drive. The Freecom logo
sits at the top of the drive and the blue indicator led makes it quite
The whole design seems robust but with rounded edges. The SYNC Button is "surrounded" by
the blue indicator led. It really looks like a small toy, so, you might want
to keep small children away while the drive is working :-).
We had no problem installing the Freecom FHD-2 Pro. However, in some systems,
a second USB2.0 connection was needed to power up the device, but most new
PCs will not need this. Microsoft Windows XP recognizes the device as a Toshiba
drive, which is in fact the 2.5" hard disk that is hidden below the Freecom
By using the device manager, you can easily set the write
caching and safe removal options.
In the following pages you will see the comprehensive tests that we put
the Freecom FHD-2 Pro through, to investigate its performance along with
a small presentation of the software included in the retail package. For the
of this review,
we used the following software:
2. Software Installation
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- Software Installation
Freecom has included in the package a small program to synchronize and protect
data when the FHD-2 Pro is connected to a PC.
By clicking on the "Install Software" button from the installation
program, we installed the "Personal
Media Suite" software. Freecom also offers the Acronis True Image software,
a very handy image creation software, but the Acronis software will not be
presented in this review. However, you can see more details about this software here.
As you can see below, with Freecom's Media Suite, you can secure and compress folders or files...
... you can synchronize all files in a folder...
... or even create an autorun file to be executed every time you plug in your device.
However, you should be careful when synchronizing files with this software,
since it can replace important files without even asking you. Unfortunately,
this is not a two way synchronization, so files are only copied from your
PC to the FHD-2 Pro device. Below you can see the options that you can set
from within the Media Suite
The easiest way to configure the program is from the tray icon, which
offers all the same functionalities as the main program's layout.
can be done from the tray icon.
3. WinBench 99 Tests
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WinBench 99 Tests
We did a series of tests, using WinBench99.
Although the drive cannot compete against other hard drives with similar capacities,
it should be noted that the Toshiba disk used by Freecom is a 4200rpm
drive. For such a drive, transfer rate tests reported very good rates.
Average values were reported as well at this WinBench99 test. However, speed
performance is not the point here. Mobility and ease of use are more important
with such a drive.
WinBench can simulate the use of certain applications with this hard disk.
However, most users will not use this hard drive as their primary hard disk
but as a back up storage device. Again, most applications reported average
The "Data Density" graph gives more information about the drive's performance throughout the entire disk's capacity.
4. Intel's IPEAK Tests - Reading Tests
Freecom FHD-2 Pro - Page 4
Intel's IPEAK Tests - Reading Tests
Below, you can see all the reading test results, as reported with Intel's
All reading graphs indicate average performance. However, it should be reminded
again, that even average performance is more than acceptable for this drive
since its use is as a backup device with the aim to be as small as possible.
In any case, this is more or less expected, since competitors use 3.5" drives,
while Freecom uses 2.5" drives,
making the drive easy to carry.
5. Intel's IPEAK Tests - Writing Tests
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Intel's IPEAK Tests - Writing Tests
Below, you can see all the writing test results with Intel's IPEAK
The Freecom's reported writing behaviour was
similar to its previous reading behaviour, where average values could
not place the drive in the high performance category, but mobility
a very handy tool for backing up large amounts of data.
6. HD Tach Tests
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HD Tach Tests
We also used HD Tach 188.8.131.52. The software can perform three types of reading tests. We tested the Freecom FHD-2 Pro with the "Full bench test" (variable zone), which takes much more time than the other two, but produces more accurate and detailed results.
To be honest, we were not expecting such good performance from the Freecom
FHD-2 Pro. However, performance graphs indicate again average speed rates which
are in any case, more than acceptable here.
Freecom FHD-2 Pro - Page 7
Freecom is well known for producing innovative products to help make
users lives easier. There is a large series of devices to support notebook
users and their
latest external hard drive, the FHD-2 Pro, comes to meet users needs when
it comes to small, portable backup solutions.
The installation of the device is as easy as can be. Even novice
users will have no problems at all. Despite this, Freecom
offers a very detailed
in the retail package, which has everything users will need,
from cables to installation CDs and installation guides.
Using the SYNC button, you can now easily transfer files from the PC to the
Freecom drive. The software included in the retail package, can protect files
or folders, synchronize files with your system, or even create autorun files
on the Freecom drive, to be executed immediately when the hard drive is plugged
The only drawback with the drive is its performance, which is average
since the Freecom FHD-2 Pro hides a small 2.5" Toshiba drive under the
stylish cover. However, the speed performance for the 4200rpm hard drive
is very good although it certainly
compete with 7200rpm 3.5" drives that competitors use. Alternatively, Freecom
could have opted for a 5400rpm 2.5" drive if they were after speed. However,
the Freecom target group is not speed seekers, but professionals that need
to use small mobile devices, mainly for back up.
- Very small, easy to carry in a pocket
- Stylish aluminum cover
- SYNC button to easily execute simple synchronization
- 2 year warranty
- Does not need external power supply
- Very cool and quite while reading/writing
- Complete retail package
- Supports USB2.0 interface
- Average performance
- Does not support firewire IEE1394 interface