If you are in the market for a backup drive, Seagate’s Backup Plus series of external HDDs may already be on your shortlist. But with so many options, it can be hard to navigate which one is best for you. Seagate's Backup Plus series alone is split into 3 product groups, sorted by capacity and feature options, which can be a bit confusing if you’re a storage newb. And even if you know what features you need, you could miss out on something a feature worth considering and not know it too. So, let's break things down a bit for you.
Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch Portable HDD (Credit: Tom's Hardware)
The Backup Plus Slim, which is under a half-inch thick, comes in capacities of 1TB and 2TB and is available in four colors.The higher-capacity 4TB and 5TB models are about twice as thick and come in under the Portable naming scheme and feature just 3 color options. These are your average run-of-the-mill 2.5-inch 5400RPM external HDDs. Their performance is rather normal for an external 2.5-inch HDD and with USB 3.0 connectivity, they cover most people’s needs.
But, alongside the Slim models, Seagate has released the Ultra Touch, which we will be focusing on in today’s review. Unlike the Slim and Portable, the Ultra Touch has two distinct features -- three if you want to include the textured finish, but we don’t warrant that as much of a buying factor to consider, as much as Seagate may want us to.
|Product||Backup Plus Ultra Touch 1TB||Backup Plus Ultra Touch 2TB|
|Interface / Protocol||USB / USB 3.1 Gen 1||USB / USB 3.1 Gen 1|
|Included Cable (s)||18" SuperSpeed Micro-B to Type-A cable; Type-A to Type C adapter||18" SuperSpeed Micro-B to Type-A cable; Type-A to Type C adapter|
|Sequential Read||140 MB/s||140 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||140 MB/s||140 MB/s|
|Storage Media||2.5" 5400RPM HDD||2.5" 5400RPM HDD|
|Default File System||exFAT||exFAT|
|Security||AES-256 encryption||AES-256 encryption|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||11.7 x 78 x 114.8 mm||11.7 x 78 x 114.8 mm|
|Part Number||White: STHH1000400|
What we consider more important is the fact that that the Touch drives come with USB-C compatibility. But rather than feature a USB-C port on the device itself or a full-blown USB-C cable like LaCie products have, Seagate simply includes a small USB-A to USB-C adapter in the box to check off that compatibility checkbox. This is a rather boring feature, but important to consider, as laptop manufacturers are moving more and more to the new smaller connector.
The most important differentiator between the Ultra Touch and its competitors is a bit more intriguing. It features AES 256-bit encryption to keep your precious data secure. You wouldn’t want to leave your backup drive somewhere by mistake and give some stranger access to all your personal files, photos, videos, etc., would you? The Ultra Touch aims to prevent that with this handy feature. Some competing drives offer this as well, so keep a lookout for it if you're shopping for a portable storage drive.
Seagate’s Backup Plus Ultra Touch comes in capacities of 1TB and 2TB at this time and is available in both black and white. Performance stats aren’t listed in their marketing documents. But in our testing, they can at least hit 140MBps. And warranty coverage comes in at 2-years.
Software and Accessories
Included with the drive is one 18-inch USB micro-B to USB Type-A cable for broad compatibility and the USB-C adapter. This means it should also work with most Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can switch into a USB compatible mode.
From the factory, the Ultra Touch comes pre-formatted as exFAT so that it is both PC and Mac compatible. Pre-loaded on the drive are a warranty document and a quick start application, which helps you get started on the company's value-add software.
Toolkit is the backup and utility software. It will help you enable the encryption feature as well as automate file backups. As value adds, Seagate offers a year subscription Mylio, which lets you to protect, edit, share, and sync your photos across multiple devices, and a two-month complimentary membership to Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan.
As we mentioned earlier, the Ultra Touch has a somewhat different look to it than other externals: It features a textured finish. On our white review sample has a top section with a grey textured finish. Physically, the drive measures 11.7 x 78 x 114.8 mm and weighs 151 grams (a third of a pound).
Additionally, the USB 3.0 connectivity on the drive end is provided by a SuperSpeed Micro-B port rather than an integrated USB-C port. This is a bit of a bummer if you’re investing in USB-C gear, but considering the cost and the fact that it wouldn’t change the performance at all, it’s not really a deal-breaker.
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