, ,

Seagate FreeAgent Go Drive Review


review-006.jpgA part of Seagate’s new line of stylish external hard drives, the FreeAgent Go is designed to be portable and small enough to travel comfortably with while still managing to pack in lots of gigabytes for storage. The design aesthetic of the FreeAgent Go is slick, and pretty different than most other hard drives. It has a unique slope at one side of its chassis, which is definitely a deviation from the standard boxy- shaped hard drives we’re all used to. seagate.jpgThe FreeAgent Go also has a neat side that lights up to indicate when the hard drive is successfully connected to your computer. The construction of the hard drive’s casing feels sturdy and is made of a pretty hardy plastic material, yet the device itself manages to be pretty light for a device holding 160GB.

review-008.jpgThe FreeAgent Go measures 4.8″ high x 3.9 wide x 0.7″ thick. While not exactly pocket friendly, the hard drive is not too much bigger than an iPhone, yet it’s a lot smaller than the average external hard drive with a dedicated power supply.

The device is completely USB powered. A USB cable with two USB connections is included, so in case you connect the hard drive to a single USB port that doesn’t have enough power to power the drive, you can connect the extra USB connection to generate more power for the drive. Inside the FreeAgent Go is a pretty speedy 5,400 RPM hard drive. Albeit not as fast as a 7,200 RPM drive, the device is runs fast enough for dropping on and off files efficiently. However, video professionals should look elsewhere since the device lacks a firewire port and a 7,2000 RPM drive which is really necessary for paying off video files without any hiccups. Had we access to a computer running Windows XP, we would’ve benchmarked the drive using HD Tach, which is generally the best way to get the most accurate speed test results. Instead we had to use Vista friendly alternatives. Using SiSoftware’s SiSandra Lite the FreeAgent Go read files at 28MB per second which makes the drive on par with other similar hard drives. Unfortunately SiSandra Lite can’t test the hard drive’s write performance unless the drive is empty.

creedo.JPGWhen you plug the hard drive in to a computer running Vista, the Autoplay feature gives you the option of running the Ceedo’s Creedo software, or you can view and access the drive’s files using Window’s explorer. The FreeAgent Go comes with Creedo preinstalled, which essentially turns the drive in to a portable way of bringing your My Documents folder, applications, file settings and preferences to different computers without having to reinstall everything each time. Creedo emulates the look and feel of a traditional Windows XP start menu, complete with a My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, Favorites, folder as well as links to apps such as Internet Explorer. So in other words, you can plug the hard drive in to any computer and feel almost as if you’re using your own personal computer with your own files and preferences. We’ve seen software like this used on many USB keys, but this is actually the first time we’ve noticed a company actual bundle a hard drive with it. And that is actually a smart idea, so it’s a wonder that everyone else isn’t doing the same thing.
The hard drive is pre-formatted for the Windows NTFS file system. Macs can view the file structure out of the box, but can’t read or write to it, so if you want to use it on your Mac, you will have to format the hard drive. And of course that means that you won’t be able to use the Ceedo software on the Mac side. Unfortunately no CD is included with the Ceedo software, so if you format the hard drive, you lose the Ceedo software for good. Another helpful program that is included, FreeAgent Go Tools is also preloaded on the hard drive. FreeAgent Go Tools allows you to synchronize folders run disk diagnostics.

review-003.jpgOverall, the drive is a great solution for someone looking to carry around as much gigs of storage as they can, without feeling like they are lugging a brick along with them. The FreeAgent Go is also a stylish drive that practically everyone will fancy. It’s extra specially a great solution for laptop owners looking for a backup solution, or a way to get some much needed extra storage. We’d label the FreeAgent Go a great consumer’s portable hard drive. The hard drive is available in a choice of 3 sizes: 160GB, 120GB or 80GB and a 5 year limited warranty is also included. The 160GB version can be found online for as little as $113 from Amazon.


The Good:
Very Portable and Sleek Design, Good Value

The Bad:
Mac owners can’t use the bundled Creedo software