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Seagate Launches ''Universal'' External HDD Line

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 22 comments

Three new external drives will offer a "universal" connection covering eSATA, USB 3.0 and more.

Wednesday Seagate said that it added a new line of external drives to its FreeAgent series. Called GoFlex, these new HDDs are "universal" in that they offer more than one connection option, providing consumers more choices when looking for a new external drive. This will also ultimately mean that Seagate will cash in with the numerous optional interface cables and adapters that will be sold along with the drives.

Seagate said that it will offer three GoFlex variations: two Ultra-portable Drives (Basic, Pro) and the Desk External Drive. All three drives come packed with USB 2.0 plug-and-play connectivity out of the box, however consumers can "upgrade" the connection by purchasing cables and adapters for USB 3.0, FireWire 800, and eSATA.

According to Seagate, the cheaper (vanilla) GoFlex Ultra-portable drive will come in four capacities: 320GB, 500GB, 750GB, and 1TB. The 7200 RPM Pro Ultra-portable drive however only comes in 500GB, and sports a cool "intelligent" dock and premium backup software. The drive arrives in both 1TB and 2TB flavors, and also comes pre-installed with backup software.

As for the special cables, they're not cheap. The FireWire 800 cable costs $39.99, whereas the USB 3.0 cable costs a lesser $29.99. Want to connect via eSATA? That will cost $19.99 as will the replacement USB 2.0 cable. Seagate also offers adapters and kits for the PC side to help enhance those transfer speeds as well.

Prices for the GoFlex HDDs range from $99.99 to $199.99, depending on the model and storage capacity. The company also announced two companion devices to the new external drives, the GoFlex TV HD media player for viewing stored multimedia on a TV, and the GoFlex Net device that adds media sharing to the TV HD media player, all of which should now be available for purchase.

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  • 16 Hide
    tester24 , May 5, 2010 5:24 PM
    Why do companies thing it's ok to nickel and dime the consumer and expect us to give repeat business?
  • 16 Hide
    Grims , May 5, 2010 5:31 PM
    40 bucks for a cable is far beyond nickel and diming.
  • 13 Hide
    sliem , May 5, 2010 5:38 PM
    RIP OFF
Other Comments
  • 16 Hide
    tester24 , May 5, 2010 5:24 PM
    Why do companies thing it's ok to nickel and dime the consumer and expect us to give repeat business?
  • 16 Hide
    Grims , May 5, 2010 5:31 PM
    40 bucks for a cable is far beyond nickel and diming.
  • 13 Hide
    sliem , May 5, 2010 5:38 PM
    RIP OFF
  • 2 Hide
    nforce4max , May 5, 2010 6:10 PM
    Right........

    File this in the rip off category. If I want universal I just go use some ancient ide drive when moving files to and from one or more vintage rigs to a modern box...

    Some of us still keep our older computers.
  • 5 Hide
    cknobman , May 5, 2010 6:13 PM
    This just in:

    Not only do Seagate drives suck because of terrible reliability now they show us how to take a great idea and make that suck too by overcharging the hell out of the consumer.

    Anyone dumb enough to fall for this crap deserves the buyers remorse they will inevitably feel.
  • 7 Hide
    smashley , May 5, 2010 6:34 PM
    Love how firewire costs the most. Must be aiming at the apple segment there and adding the requisite tax.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , May 5, 2010 7:11 PM
    Cables cost these vendors a few dollars - a very few dollars. I once saw an HDMI cable at Best Buy for $135. You can buy one just like it on line for less than $20.

    What a rip...
  • 1 Hide
    ravewulf , May 5, 2010 7:18 PM
    I'd rather buy a new internal drive and possibly an external enclosure for it if needed.
  • 5 Hide
    cknobman , May 5, 2010 7:19 PM
    mgilbertCables cost these vendors a few dollars - a very few dollars. I once saw an HDMI cable at Best Buy for $135. You can buy one just like it on line for less than $20.What a rip...


    To be accurate most cables cost less than $2 in reality. When I worked at best buy the $35 usb cable or $20 cat 5 cable cost only $1.5 with my employee discount.
  • 2 Hide
    gm0n3y , May 5, 2010 7:56 PM
    What's the point in having a drive that supports multiple cable types if it doesn't come with the cables? Just buy whatever type you need. The only reason I could see this being useful is if you are using machines that have different types of connections (say one machine has usb3 and another only has usb2 but has firewire or esata) and even this it is marginally useful.
  • 1 Hide
    figgus , May 5, 2010 8:00 PM
    It doesn't matter, it's a Seagate drive. It's going to crash and eat your data before you ever need a second type of cable. You are better off writing your 0's and 1's on the beach with a stick than you are putting them on a Seagate.
  • 1 Hide
    HavoCnMe , May 5, 2010 8:23 PM
    Quote:
    The 7200 RPM Pro Ultra-portable drive however only comes in 500GB, and sports a cool "intelligent" dock and premium backup software
    . The drive arrives in both 1TB and 2TB flavors, and also comes pre-installed with backup software
    .


    So 500GB, 1TB and 2TB?
  • 1 Hide
    hellwig , May 5, 2010 8:32 PM
    When I read "Universal" I thought it meant with the filing system. Big drives like this must use NTFS (can't realistically use Fat32 for TB-sized disks, and nothing else is supported by Windows). Drive manufactures need to come up with their own file format.

    It has worked with disc formats like CD & DVD. I mean, we aren't talking about OS-disks that might need special features based on the OS installed (I mean, I'm sure Microsoft has some reason it uses NTFS, other than it's whole anti-free policy). These are storage disks, pure and simple. We just need a basic file system that is universally readable and writeable and does enough for archiving and file sharing.

    And before you say "what's wrong with NTFS", remember this, its a closed file system, and Linux/Mac/etc.. can only read it because someone spent a lot of time reverse engineering the file system to come up with 3rd-party drivers. Microsoft has never published the details to NTFS.
  • 1 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , May 5, 2010 9:18 PM
    Dude, if people really cared about standardizing a file system the easiest thing would be to simply adopt one of the plenty of open standards. Such as EXT3 and whatnot which are fully documented and free to use.

    It'd be great if you could use that externally - and on consoles.
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , May 5, 2010 9:20 PM
    hellwigWhen I read "Universal" I thought it meant with the filing system. Big drives like this must use NTFS (can't realistically use Fat32 for TB-sized disks, and nothing else is supported by Windows). Drive manufactures need to come up with their own file format.It has worked with disc formats like CD & DVD. I mean, we aren't talking about OS-disks that might need special features based on the OS installed (I mean, I'm sure Microsoft has some reason it uses NTFS, other than it's whole anti-free policy). These are storage disks, pure and simple. We just need a basic file system that is universally readable and writeable and does enough for archiving and file sharing.And before you say "what's wrong with NTFS", remember this, its a closed file system, and Linux/Mac/etc.. can only read it because someone spent a lot of time reverse engineering the file system to come up with 3rd-party drivers. Microsoft has never published the details to NTFS.

    Not to mention that it's an old file system by today's standard. It would be SO much simpler if Windows/OSX just adopted ext4,etc.
  • 1 Hide
    belardo , May 5, 2010 10:11 PM
    "Universal" is pretty much false. Its just a drive with... get this... THREE different interface cables (if not two).

    A USB 3.0 connector will use a USB 2.0 cable... so two USB connectors are not really needed.

    Lets see... I've picked up a Vantec eSATA & USB 2.0 external case for $40 and it includes eSATA and USB 2.0 cables. With USB 3.0 being new, so that should be about $20~30 for the controller & cable.
  • 0 Hide
    reasonablevoice , May 5, 2010 10:20 PM
    Or, instead of buying their overpriced piece of garbage that doesn't even include all supported cables in the box I can just go out and buy an external device that has separate USB, Firewire, and eSATA ports. They are out there. I could also just buy an empty enclosure with whatever connectivity options I want and buy a bare drive to put in there.
    This seems very consumer un-friendly.
  • 0 Hide
    seraphimcaduto , May 5, 2010 11:03 PM
    any chance the lovely people at monoprice will come to the rescue?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 6, 2010 12:01 AM
    I recently bought a Seagate 1T external drive. The good points are that it was pre-formatted and ready to use, and has worked fine so far. The only thing I do not like about it is that it doesn't have an On/Off switch.

    My previous external drives (500g and 750g) were built from Samsung drives in external cases. They have on/off switches and are only used when transferring data on or off the drives. The Seagate drive has to switched off at the power strip.

    I've had a good run with Seagate drives with only 1 out of 8 ever failing. That drive had the faulty partition formatted and reinstalled, and is still working after 8 years (6 years since the failure). Samsung drives are now my preferred drives as they use fewer platters and run cooler.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , May 6, 2010 12:23 AM
    seraphimcadutoany chance the lovely people at monoprice will come to the rescue?


    That's where I buy audio and video cables for a very very reasonable price. I first learned about their inexpensive cables through PC Magazine reviews.
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