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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.