At the front of the drive, there’s a blue ‘500GB’, which lights up when the drive’s switched on and flashes during file transfer, redundantly drawing attention to the drive’s capacity. Beside it sits the power button and Freecom’s special feature, the sync button.
The idea of the sync button is that you can keep copies of your files on the external device, then press the sync button to have the changes automatically propagated back to the original files. It works in the other direction, too, as you’d expect, because Freecom Sync is actually a front end to the little-used Windows Briefcase feature. However, the button only works while Freecom’s own transfer manager is running and, annoyingly, there’s no option to reprogram what it does. Thanks to these two limitations, we fear the button won’t see much use.
Round the back, the Freecom has a sparse but sensible set of connections: there’s a full-sized USB connector, an eSATA port and a standard 12V coaxial power socket, which you might appreciate should anything happen to your power supply. As with most desktop drives, there’s also a Kensington security slot.
The Freecom may not be this month’s most expensive drive outright, but when you realise its price per gigabyte is almost twice that of the Seagate and Iomega, the value proposition flies out of the window: the Freecom is one to avoid.
A quirky-looking unit, but it’s way too expensive.