May 02, 2011 In terms of price, the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable Drive is a very good buy: About $0.20 per GB at list price, but the HP Portable External Hard Drive is less expensive at about $0.17. Seagate 9ZF2A5 FreeAgent GoFlex 1TB USB External Portable Storage Hard Drive-MAC See more like this Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1 TB USB 3.0 Ultra-Portable External Hard Drive Refurbished. Ridiculous capacity. Instant in-field storage. Whether on the go or at your desk, Seagate’s external hard drives will help you protect your digital life. Portable Hard Drives. External Hard Drives. Including the trendy Ultra Slim, our backup hard drives protect your data on the go. Backup Plus Portable Hard Drives.
• Pros Mac formatted. Mac-oriented design.
Only available in silver. Interface cables are easy to lose. • Bottom Line Interchangeable interfaces and a huge capacity put the Seagate GoFlex Ultra-portable Drive for Mac up as one of the front-runners in the external hard drive space. This drive is future-proofed with a humungous capacity. The Seagate GoFlex Ultra-portable Drive for Mac ($219.99 list) is a capacious monster for backing up your Apple Macintosh desktop or laptop.
It has 1.5TB of hard drive space, more than enough for any computer smaller than a Mac Pro with multiple internal hard drives. Its interchangeable adapter cables future-proof it from advances in drive interfaces, though the most exciting interface (Thunderbolt) isn't here just yet. If you want to bet on that interface being available soon (and if you have a new Mac with Thunderbolt), then give the GoFlex for Mac a look. Otherwise there are one or two other drives that also merit your attention in the here and now. Design and Features The GoFlex for Mac comes in the chassis similar to other Seagate GoFlex portable drives, so they all are compatible with the GoFlex adapter cables and accessories. It measures 4 by 5 by 1 inches (HWD). Since the drive capacity is 1.5TB, it's a little thicker than the ones found on the standard drives, but they're all equally pocketable.
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The GoFlex drives come in silver, which matches the silver/aluminum motif of the current Mac desktops and laptops. This may be an annoyance if you wanted a red or a blue drive, but then again Mac users tend to like their tech products to match the Apple aesthetic.
Like the Windows-oriented ($99.99 list, 4.5 stars) (500GB), the GoFlex for Mac has Seagate's GoFlex connector on the side. The GoFlex connector allows you to connect one of Seagate's other GoFlex adapter cables to the drive, increasing the devices you can use with the drive. The GoFlex for Mac comes with both USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 adapters, but the drive can pair with an optional USB 3.0 or powered eSATA connector. This way, you can upgrade the drive to work with both interfaces at a future time. No current Mac comes from Apple with a USB 3.0 or eSATA port, but you can of course add one if you have a free PCIe slot (Mac Pro) or a free ExpressCard slot (some MacBook Pro laptops). Though not announced with the latest round of MacBook Pros, it's a reasonable guess to predict that Seagate will have GoFlex adapters for Intel's new Thunderbolt interface in the future.
The GoFlex works right out of the box with Apple's Time Machine on Macs with Mac OS X 10.5 or later. You don't even have to reformat the drive, as you'd have to do on Windows-oriented drives.
The GoFlex for Mac comes pre-formatted with the HFS+ (Mac-only) format. You can reformat the drive with FAT32 (Both Mac and Windows-compatible) or NTFS (Windows only) formats if you're going to be using the drive with a Windows PC. You can also download a HFS+ driver for Windows from Seagate in case you don't want to reformat the drive. The drive only comes with drive monitoring software for the Mac, so you may want another solution if you need to back up a Mac OS X 10.4 or older system. The Editors' Choice winning ($199.99 list, 4 stars, 1TB) comes with backup software for older Macs (via download), as well as a one-year subscription for TrendMicro's Smart Surfing software for Macs. Performance The GoFlex is a good performer.
On our Drag and Drop test, the GoFlex for Mac copied our 1.22GB test folder in a quick 24 seconds under FireWire 800 (vs. 22 seconds for the Iomega eGo), and a slower 37 seconds under USB 2.0 (vs. 35 secconds for the Iomega eGo). Speedier USB 3.0 drives like the ($169.99 direct, 4 stars) can do the same task in 19 seconds. Note: We couldn't run our usual PCMark05 HDD tests on the drive, since it's Mac formatted. Compared with the Windows-based HP Portable Hard Drive and Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex, both Editors' Choice winners, the GoFlex for Mac has an Apple-minded design and FireWire 800 connector in its favor. The HP Portable Hard Drive doesn't have FireWire 800 as an option, and the Windows-based GoFlex drive requires an added-cost extra adapter for FireWire.