The Seagate FreeAgent Go USB hard drive has sleek looks and the possibility to be sited in a convenient desktop dock
This Seagate FreeAgent Go 320GB portable drive looks pleasing to the eye, with a design that is fairly different - and looks very sleek among some chunkier competition, with corners that seem designed to convey a thin profile.
The single solid colour, and the arrayed activity LED help it to look both sober and unconventional at the same time. Wide availability of the product, and a five-year warranty are bonuses. The bundled software (innovatively named... FreeAgent) makes encryption, synchronizing files, and automating backups easier.
The Seagate FreeAgent Go 320GB drive uses a Momentus 5400.5 hard disk drive internally. It's available in nine colours - blue, silver, gold, orange, blue, black, red, pink and green. Desktop users who hate having to reach for the back panel of a PC to plug in a USB cable need not despair.
Seagate offers a docking station that you can keep on your desk, to have a mini-USB port within easy reach. Sold separately as an accessory, the Go Dock provides a carry case as well.
The performance of this drive is within expectations. Most portable USB hard drives have a read speed of around 30MB/s, and a multi-file write speed of 24MB/s in real-world tests. This is because they are limited by the speed of the USB 2.0 interface.
This sample had a read speed average of 30.6MB/s and random write speed of 30.7MB/s. CPU usage was typically high at 8% and read access latency was 22 milliseconds.
So when all such USB drives provide similar real-world performance, the factors to look at would be the pricing, warranty, and whether you like how the drive looks.
NEXT PAGE: Our expert verdict >>