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500GB Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable Hard Drive Review

500GB Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable Hard Drive Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlext Ultra-Portable hard drive is more than just a portable 2.5" SATA HDD. key to the system's brilliant usefulness is that Seagate designed this hard drive to interface with a series of modular cable interface adaptors, docks and a media player. It's what you'd call, really very flexible.
 95% Rating:   
Filed under: Hard Drives Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Seagate Feb 16 2012   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Hard Drives > Seagate STAA500101

The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable hard drive may be a mouthful to say, but it's a lot more than just a 2.5" SATA hard drive wrapped in a travel friendly, slim grey plastic case. At the heart of the system is a hard drive, but key to the system's brilliant usefulness is that Seagate designed this hard drive to interface with a series of modular cable interface adaptors, docks and a media player. It's what you'd call, really very flexible.

The modular cables allow the core hard drive, which comes in capacities from 320GB - 750GB, to connect to one of five data ports, depending on your computer or the data transfer speed you want to achieve. For example, the 500GB Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex drive PCSTATS is reviewing today (model: STAA500101) ships with a common USB 2.0 adaptor - while USB 2.0 is reasonably quick there are better interfaces for constantly moving multi-gigabyte files back and forth.

For about $25 you can purchase a USB 3.0, Firewire 800 or powered eSATA interface adaptor to connect the FreeAgent GoFlex drive to those respective ports, improving data transfer speeds respectively. For around a $100, an Intel Thunderbolt docking station is even available; Thunderbolt is limited to newish Mac computers thus far, but promises transfer speeds upwards of 10Gb/s.

But that's not all... Seagate made the core FreeAgent GoFlex hard drive so it will slot into the companies' TV HD Media Player product, interfacing via the drives native SATA port. Sliding a hard drive into the Media Player is a quick and simple way to open up access to hundreds of gigabytes of digital content on the spot.

If you're not familiar with the GoFlex TV HD Media Player, it's basically a small black box which enables movies/music/photo content to be streamed over the internet, a network, off a USB drive, or via a portable hard drive onto just about any High Definition Television. For those of you who like to download entire TV series, the GoFlex TV HD Media Player is a fantastic way to bring that content off the computer screen and onto the living room HDTV.

Seagate GoFlex HDD

INCLUDES: User's Manual, USB 2.0 interface adaptor, software on drive for sync'ing data and backups.


ModelNo.: STAA500101
Capacity: 500GB
HDD Type: 2.5" SATA
HDD Interface: Hot-Swap SATA to USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Firewire 800, powered eSATA or Thunderbolt interface adaptor cables.
Physical: 150 grams, 111x83x14.5mm in size.
OS Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Est. Price:
$110 USD / £69 GBP / $110 CDN

The FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable hard drive is simple storage device, but one that's more thought out than those flimsy slap-a-2.5"-laptop-drive-in-here plastic shells you often see in computer stores.

Seagate's 500GB FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable hard drive retails for about $110USD, so cost per GB is pegged at an economical $0.22. The drive weighs a feathery 150 grams and in size, is a hair bigger than the ubiquitous Paris par Arrondissement pocket guide. The plastic case feels relatively rugged and firm, with smooth corners so it easily slips into pockets. Seagate warranties the drive for 2 years.

The only visible bit of electronics on the device is a recessed hot-swap SATA connector which is protected from damage if you have happen to leave the interface adaptor cable disconnected. Each interface adaptor has a small white LED status light to indicate when the drive is powered up and when it's engaged in a data transfer.

The FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable hard drive has no power sockets and does not require any external power adaptors to operate. Finally, it's Mac (OS-X or higher) and PC (WinXP - to Win7) compatible. Minimum hardware requirement is pretty much, just a USB 2.0 port.

When connected via USB 2.0 port, the 500GB Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable hard drive can transfer a single 8.5GB test file to the PC at a rate of about 31MB/s. The same test repeated over eSATA cable yields a rate of about 49MB/s. To put these transfer speeds into perspective, Patriot's Supersonic 64GB USB 3.0 thumb drive can copy a single 8.5GB file over to a PC at a rate of 53MB/s.

USB 3.0 devices are capable of moving data at a quick 4.8Gbit/s, a 10x boost up from the 480Mbit/s rate of USB 2.0. As Yoda might say, USB transfer speeds are perfect for multi-gigabyte storage devices. PCSTATS will take a quick look at the other interface adaptors cables available for this drive next, then it's time to wrap up this review with a few fun transfer tests.

© 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: Seagate STAA500101
 Pg 1.  — 500GB Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable Hard Drive Review
 Pg 2.  Seagate GoFlex Upgrade Cables and Media Player
 Pg 3.  Seagate Dashboard Software + Trial-Ware
 Pg 4.  Removable Storage Benchmarks & Conclusions

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