Seagate Launches ''Universal'' External HDD Line

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.

  • tester24
    Why do companies thing it's ok to nickel and dime the consumer and expect us to give repeat business?
  • Grims
    40 bucks for a cable is far beyond nickel and diming.
  • sliem
  • nforce4max

    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.
  • cknobman
    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.
  • smashley
    Love how firewire costs the most. Must be aiming at the apple segment there and adding the requisite tax.
  • 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...
  • ravewulf
    I'd rather buy a new internal drive and possibly an external enclosure for it if needed.
  • cknobman
    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.
  • gm0n3y
    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.