If you are like me, you have stacks of memory cards filled with video and photos from your camcorder, DSLR, GoPro and every other device you use to capture images. One of the biggest challenges facing content creators today is how do you quickly and efficiently get all this digital data, all these bits and bytes into your computer so you can begin working on them.
Over the years not only have I accumulated drawers filled with media cards, I've got closet shelves filled with G-Technology external drives; mainly G-RAIDs, but a few G-DRIVES, G-DRIVE Mobiles and a pair of G-SPEEDs. It's amazing how much digital data I've accumulated, and I'm just an amateur videographer and editing enthusiast. You're probably more serious than me, perhaps you shoot wedding & events, post your own skateboard or surfing videos to YouTube, or your passion is creating travel or nature videos, or maybe you produce training videos or how-to programs. No matter what kind of videos you produce, one thing you can never seem to get enough of is storage.
The folks at G-Technology realize this. Heck they've built a fantastic brand and leadership position in our industry by working with and listening to their customers storage needs and problems. What G-Technology realized was that storage as we know it had to change, it had to evolve into something more efficient, portable and scalable. This is what the The Evolution Series is all about! I’m going to show you how they did it and why you want it.
What is the G-Technology Evolution Series?
The Evolution Series is a complete storage system. It combines the speed and performance of Thunderbolt™ & USB3 with portability.
Here is how it works. First in the series is the G-DOCK ev; a dual bay storage dock that attaches to your computer via Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt provides transfer speeds that are the fastest possible for external devices. The G-DOCK ev ships with two G-DRIVE® ev cartridges. Each cartridge is a rugged external drive that has dual connections. A USB3 connection for using it a as stand alone, rugged external drive in the field, and a SATA connection for mounting it inside the G-DOCK ev.
So this is your workflow: You bring your G-DRIVE ev USB 3.0 cartridges with you on location or into the field. When you get done shooting, you copy the files from the media cards to the G-DRIVE ev cartridges using your laptop and USB3 at 136 Megs/sec! Now when you get back to your editing suite, you mount the G-DRIVE ev cartridges into the G-DOCK ev and immediately copy the files or begin editing. If you're like me, the first thing you are going to do is make a back-up. Because the G-DOCK ev uses Thunderbolt these transfers are really fast. If you need the fastest possible throughput for your video editing you can stripe two G-DRIVE ev cartridges in a RAID 0 for transfer rates of over 250 Megs/sec. WOW - That's fast!
I really like this workflow, because it takes into account all of my biggest needs as a digital videographer.
- First and foremost, I make a back up copy of everything. So I have one copy for editing, and another for back-up. I know guys who make 2 copies of everything. They use one copy to edit, one for back-up and the third for archiving. With G-DOCK ev this process is so much easier and faster.
- I need speed. If you are still using Firewire800 or USB2 for your work, you are going to be blown away by the performance of USB3 and Thunderbolt. They are so much faster. With the transfer rates of the G-DRIVE ev and the G-DOCK I get the fastest possible transfer rates and sustained throughput. Imagine the possibilities as G-Technology continues to expand this ecosystem!
- I want rugged portability. I don't want to have to lug around external raids or drives. We all know about those rugged drives with their bright orange ring of rubber. Nice little drives, but they aren't really that little and they aren't really fast. That's just too big of a trade off for me. The small form factor and design of the G-DRIVE ev is exactly what I need, and they are lightning fast in the field on their own, and then when I get back to the edit suite, I just pop them right into the G-DOCK and away I go.
- I want expandability. With G-DOCK I can just add more storage as I need it. I don't have to buy a whole new G-DOCK, I just add more G-DRIVE ev cartridges. For me this is a game changer. No more closets filled with assorted external drives of all shapes and sizes. With the small form factor of the rugged G-DRIVE ev cartridges, I can easily have 10 or 20 in a drawer. The way I go through drives, that will take me less than a year ;-)
Special extended through April 15, 2014
G-Technology is running a limited time promotion. They are giving you 2 additional FREE 1TB G-DRIVE ev cartridges with your G-DOCK purchase. This is a sweet deal! You get the G-DOCK ev with 4, count 'em, FOUR 1TB G-DRIVE ev cartridges for just $749.95. If you like what you learned from this review, jump on this offer while it's still available.
G-DOCK wish list
While I really like the G-DOCK, I do have a wish list of things that I hope G-Technology will do in the near future to make The Evolution Series even better:
- Add an intelligent GUI / interface that makes using G-DOCK even easier and more productive. How great would it be if you could pop a drive into the top bay, and if you have an empty drive in the bottom bay it automatically mirrors it. Even better, add an option to mirror or append. Or if you could add two empty drives into the bays and it would automatically ask you if you wanted them set up as a RAID 1 mirror or RAID 0 for throughput. I think you get the idea, and I hope G-Technology creates a set of Evolution Series tools that make my workflow and life even easier.
- Offer multipacks of G-DRIVE ev cartridges. I'm a digital videographer. I never seem to have enough storage. I've got closets full of drives. Why can't I buy a 6 or 10 pack of G-DRIVE ev cartridges at a discounted price for fill my voracious appetite for storage?
- Add a USB3 port to G-DOCK ev. I love Thunderbolt. All the new Macs have it, but Thunderbolt is only now starting to become available on Windows workstations and laptops. If G-DOCK also had a USB3 connection, I wouldn't have to worry about that. Even though it's much slower then Thunderbolt, USB3 is a big step up from Firewire connectivity. With USB3 I think more PC guys would jump on the G-DOCK now, rather than having to wait for Thunderbolt.
G-DOCK is an amazing product and I know that many of our customers will agree. G-Technology calls it the next evolution of storage. I think they are onto something. With today's tapeless media, we need the fastest, most flexible storage solutions we can get. G-DOCK delivers on this and more.