For those who miss the days of floppy disks, Freecom's latest external storage drives just might bring back some fond memories - albeit at a price.

Designed for people who have several different categories of data to store - work files, home files, that 'private' image file collection you'd rather nobody knew about - the new Freecom Mobile Drive CLS appears at first glance to be a fairly standard, if smart looking, 2.5" external hard drive. However, with the inclusion of a clever docking system Freecom has created something fairly unique.

Each drive works as as stand-alone 2.5" USB-connected external drive, but the CLS Dock allows up to three such drives to be connected to a machine at the same time via a single USB port - with each drive standing proudly upright, label on display.

The labels - which are a rare sight for external drives these days, and hearken back to the days of floppy disks and hand-written notes frequently erased - form one-third of the drives' "Collect, Label & Store" moniker, and come in eight different colours for easy at-a-glance discrimination as to which drive contains work-safe material.

The design of the drives - which are a pocket-friendly 109.8 x 79.5 x 13.5 mm and enclosed in rubber for vibration dampening and sound proofing - is courtesy of Belgian designer Sylvain Willenz, and certainly goes some way to make the CLS series look like a pretty premium product.

And there's the rub: while the dock isn't too expensive at £14.99, each individual drive will cost you at least £64.99 - and that's just for the bottom-end 250GB model. The higher capacities - with 320GB, 500GB, 640GB, and 750GB also available - will cost increasing amounts, and when you consider that you really need at least three drives to make full use of the docking station the costs soon add up.

Do you think that the CLS concept is a good idea, or would you rather have a single large drive that stores all your data than a series of small drives and a clever docking station? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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