By: Tony Celeste
As hard drive prices continue to fall and capacities go up, you might be starting to think that we simply cannot use disks that are any larger. Clearly you don't make backups of your Blu-ray movies. To the hardcore technology enthusiast on your holiday shopping list, that’s kind of like suggesting that CPUs don't need to get any faster.
As application installations grow, broadband pipes enlarge (giving us more ready access to massive downloads), and we record more of our lives as zeros and ones using high-def cameras, our thirst for capacity continues to intensify. Leaning on increasingly large repositories means worrying about the ways data gets moved around, too. That's one of the reasons drives like this one are shifting away from the ubiquitous USB 2.0 interface, which maxed out far below a 2.5" hard drive's peak transfer rate. USB 3.0 is a savior when it comes to getting data moved quickly.
Our selection for the holiday season’s best way to add high-capacity storage space is Seagate’s GoFlex 1.5 TB USB 3.0 external hard drive. Seagate gives this particular version of its GoFlex series the “Ultra-portable” designator--a description that fits it well. The drive ships with USB 3.0 connectivity, which is fully backward compatible with your computer’s USB 2.0 ports. Also, Seagate makes a number of different accessories available, extending the ways you can use the GoFlex at home.
An eSATA adapter is available for connecting to your computer’s eSATA/USB combo ports. The adapter not only enables external SATA connectivity, but it also uses the port’s power to eliminate the need for another cord. Mac users will be happy to know that a FireWire 800 adapter is also available. Since Macs do not yet ship with either USB 3.0 or eSATA ports, the FireWire 800 adapter is really the only way to get suitable performance from the GoFlex for those of you using a Mac.
Beyond simple connectivity, Seagate also sells accessories that expands the GoFlex's general capabilities. For example, its GoFlex TV HD media player enables streaming content from your home network. The GoFlex Net Media Sharing Device facilitates using the GoFlex hard drive as an Internet-connected storage device.
The Seagate GoFlex 1.5 TB External Hard Drive ships with pre-installed backup software for both PC and Mac, 192-bit Triple DES encryption software, and the Seagate Dashboard hard drive management tool. We feel that the built-in features and expandability offered by the Seagate GoFlex sets it apart from the many other high capacity external hard drives available this holiday season.
- Headphones: Bowers & Wilkins P5
- Flash Drive: Kingston HyperX 128 GB USB 3.0 Drive
- Keyboard: Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750
- Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U3011
- Custom PC: Digital Storm Black Ops Assassin
- Display: Samsung MD230X6 6 x 23" Display Array
- Networking: Netgear Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender WN2000RPT
- External Storage: Seagate GoFlex 1.5 TB USB 3.0
- Mini PC: VIA Artigo A1100 Pico-ITX Kit
- Mobile Phone: Dell Streak
- Mouse: Logitech Performance Mouse MX
- Network Storage: Thecus N4200 Pro NAS/iSCSI SAN