Mobile and Attractive: External Hard Disks from Maxtor and Seagate


Maxtor and Seagate have designed two optically very different, yet functionally similar products. Both manufacturers have targeted the same group of users: those with large numbers of photos, audio/video data and heavy backup requirements.

Maxtor is well aware of this group's needs, because the OneTouch series is available with capacities of to 300 GB (although only with 5,400 rpm and 2 MB cache at this size). At the moment, Seagate maxes out at 160 MB, but larger models are perfectly feasible.

Both have roughly the same footprint. The Maxtor OneTouch is longer, whereas the Seagate is higher. Maxtor has the advantage when several drives are stacked. Seagate has the benefit of being 200g lighter than Maxtor's OneTouch.

There is not a great deal of difference in the accessories included with both drives: Maxtor supplies Retrospect Express 6.0 and Seagate supplies BounceBack Express from CMS. The noise levels of the drives are also similar, since both the DiamondMax Plus 16 and the Seagate 7200.7 are equipped with noise dampening fluid dynamic bearings

Can a decision be based simply on the purchase price? There is no reason not to, since both drives are compatible with both the Windows and the Mac OS. If the very slight performance advantage is important, you should choose the Seagate drive. On the other hand, the Maxtor is slightly more flexible, as the OneTouch button can be linked to any program. Otherwise, go for the model with the best price-performance ratio - choose the cheaper of the two.