This review is for the 2TB Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex model. The 2TB version is not small and portable like the 500GB model. The 2TB version uses a standard desktop size 3.5" HDD, while the 500GB model uses a laptop size 2.5" HDD. The 3.5" HDD will transfer files faster than the 2.5" HDD, but will produce more heat.
My history with Seagate has not been so good. To me and many others, Seagate has a reputation for drives that fail quickly and unexpectedly. Everyone can repair a bad history, but I can't seem to forget Seagate's reputation. But like any bad relationship, things change and I must try to move on.
This Seagate GoFlex external hard drive looks good, really good. It's the kind of design that stands out from the crowd. But... where is the ventilation? All hard drives heat up, so why are their no air vents or fans? This worries me. All the eye-candy in the world won't make up for a burned up hard drive.
The performance statistics are like any other external HDD. 3.5" disk, 7200 RPM, USB 2.0, 32MB cache. Nothing to get excited about. Matching stats makes me long for a hard drive brand that I can depend on... like Western Digital (I've owned 7 in the last 3 years and never had one fail even once.)
However, this Seagate does offer something new: the ability to upgrade to USB 3.0!!! Sounds amazing, but.... you have to shell out $40 for the USB 3.0 HDD adapter (and another $30 for the USB 3.0 card for your computer). So "The World's Most Upgradeable Desktop Hard Drive" comes with some fine print... USB 3.0 not included.
The lack of built-in USB 3.0 isn't terrible, however. The advantage of this external HDD is that you can keep your HDD and upgrade the base adapter when you decide to buy a new laptop in the future. That's a plus. However, we also have to consider that when USB 3.0 does become a standard component of laptops, hard drive size will also have doubled or tripled. And the 7,2000 speed barrier may be broken. (Faster HDDs are available, but are costly and small in storage space.) Then will you even want to use your out-dated hard drive?
Some people will never fill a 2 TB hard drive and for them this Seagate GoFlex design is great. You don't need to worry about transferring files to a new HDD for many years. And if you aren't using all 2TB, then you most likely won't overheat this HDD. However for those of us who fill up HDDs rather quickly, we may want to consider another external hard drive option - one with better ventilation and a better company reputation.
In addition, this Seagate hard drive has a 32 MB cache. This is the standard cache size for hard drives at this time, however 64 MB cache disks are available for under $200. A larger cache size makes a noticeable improvement if you are using the drive to run programs or stream files. For simple file back-up, a larger cache size won't make much of a difference.
Personally, I prefer using a multi-bay external hard drive set up. Something with hot swapable bays, networking, ESATA or RAID is ideal. In addition to my 4-Bay RAID Network enclosure, I use an external desktop HDD (like this one) to act as a second hard drive for my laptop. So I have 4 HDDs in RAID backing up everything in my laptop HDD and my desktop external HDD. (I am using 4 WD drives and 1 Samsung drive.) This gives me the fastest load time, most storage space, and file protection for a laptop setup. It may sound like an overkill, however I know the pain that comes with a dead hard drive and loss of irreplaceable files. (Did I mention that I also backup on Blu-Ray discs?)
For $200 a 2TB external hard drive is not a screaming deal. But this HDD does offer something that no one else does - the ability to upgrade to USB 3.0. Is it worth the extra $40+ down the road? (Plus the extra $50-70 compared to the current price of other 2TB external HDDs on the market.) Only you can make that call.
I've passed this Seagate GoFlex HDD onto my girlfriend. Seagate's included automatic back-up software is easy to use and this will free up some more space on my RAID setup for my own files. My girlfriend appreciates the ease of use, attractive design (if it only came in pink), and hassle-free back-up protection.
5 stars for looks
2 stars for ventilation
3 stars for hard drive performance
4 stars for upgradability
2 stars for cost
1 star for Seagate's past reputation
FINAL SCORE = 3 stars
** Computer components can be a boring subject, so if you've found my review helpful and enjoyable, please click "YES" below.