Judie’s and my first meeting at CES 2011 was with Seagate. (We posted about it here.) Toward the end of the visit we came upon a hard drive that was as stylish as it was function. At the time all we were allowed to write about it was this:
Concept drive – We also saw a drive that is not yet named but will be out late spring (pictured above). The concept drive is super thin and will be $99.99 for 320. Black for PC. Silver for Mac. Also has premium backup for data security.
This is an image of it being held by me in Ls Vegas.
And this is an image of it sitting on my desk just yesterday.
That’s right, this impressively thin “Concept Drive” isn’t a concept at all.
Seagate is announcing the GoFlex Slim portable hard drive this morning and let me tell you, it is one impressive travel drive! In fact, this drive came to the rescue last week. I’ll explain but first a quick look at the drive and its features.
The drive is compatible with both USB 2.0 and 3.0. It offers 320 GB of storage which is not huge by today’s standards but is more than enough space if you are using this drive to carry files from one place to another. No, this isn’t you 2TB desk drive but, then again, it was not intended to be. In fact, Seagate is quite clear about the intended purpose of the drive in their literature which notes,
Sliding effortlessly into a pocket, purse or messenger bag, the GoFlex Slim portable drive enables transport, access and enjoyment of personal digital content from anywhere, making it the perfect complement to today’s mobile lifestyle.
The 720RPM is speedy and when used in conjunction with USB 3.0 is “up to 10x faster than USB2.0”. As the company explains
The faster drive speed takes full advantage of the included plug-and-play USB 3.0 interface, while still maintaining compatibility with USB 2.0 ports. The GoFlex Slim portable drive also allows for use between Windows and Mac® computers, interchangeably, without formatting or performance loss. Additionally, the drive’s included premium backup software provides automatic and continuous backups and encrypts files and folders.
The GoFlex Slim Drive is a great looking drive. Made from aluminum, the black color looks rather sharp. And it is thin… really thin. How thin is it? Just 9mm thick, that’s how thing this drive is. Seriously when you see it you cannot help but be impressed.
It is even more impressive when you putt it up against Seagate’s own FreeAgent Go ultra-portable drives. The new drive is significantly thinner and the FreeAgent Go drive is no fatty itself!
In keeping with Seagate’s GoFlex design the drive has a removable interface that lets it work with a variety of cables and accessories from Seagate.
Here is the adapter that came with the drive.
And here is the drive without the adapter. This system really does give maximum flexibility and lets you feel secure knowing that the drive will be usable if you upgrade your computer and want to use one of the new, faster interfaces.
So how did this newly announced drive come to the rescue last week? Simple. You might recall that I dumped a full 16 oz of Crystal Light directly into my 13″ MacBook Air. It was not one of my better moves, and the keyboard and trackpad immediately stopped working. The computer was still going however and a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse allowed me to manipulate it as if nothing had happened. That was a good thing because I had ignored my own advice and had not done a TimeMachine backup in some time.
I grabbed the 2.5-inch GoFlex Slim Drive, tore the box open and plugged it into the USB port on the MBA so I could drag some of the newer files off the laptop before it shut down entirely. The drive was accessible within seconds and was fast enough for me to get most of the files I needed off of the MBA in time. I have had other drives that first needed to be formatted for use with a Mac but fortunately this was not the case here. As Seagate explains,
The GoFlex Slim portable drive also allows for use between Windows and Mac® computers, interchangeably, without formatting or performance loss. Additionally, the drive’s included premium backup software provides automatic and continuous backups and encrypts files and folders.
Needless to say I not only love the look of the drive but I was immediately a huge fan of this product. Even better, Seagate will be releasing a version that is specifically designed for use with Macs. It will be available in May.
Seagate’s new 2.5-inch GoFlex Slim Drive comes about as close to being a piece of jewelry as any hard drive I have seen. It looks great, has nice storage capacity and a fast 7200RPM drive inside. It works with a variety of interfaces and comes with Seagate’s impressive GoFlex flexible system. Sure, it is still a spinning platter drive but an SSD drive of this capacity would be exceptionally pricey. This drive, as impressive as it is, has a retail price of just $99. Enough said.
The Seagate 2.5-inch GoFlex Slim Drive is available now. More information and ordering can be found here.
What I Like: Slim but offers 320GB of storage; Flexible with regard to interface options; Light, strong and portable; Priced to sell; Saved my bacon on the very first day!
What Needs Improvement: Capacity maxes out at 320GB; Still a spinning platter drive
The full Press Release follows.
SEAGATE SHIPS WORLD’S SLIMMEST, PORTABLE, EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
New Razor-thin, 2.5-inch GoFlex® Slim Drive Is the Ideal
External Storage Solution for Netbooks and Ultra-thin laptops
SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. — April 5, 2011 — Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) today announced the availability of its new GoFlex® Slim portable hard drive — a svelte, 9mm, 2.5-inch external drive designed for the latest trend of portable, thin, stylish laptops and netbooks. Initially showcased at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics show in January of this year, the new GoFlex Slim performance drive is now available on www.seagate.com, in-store and at select online retailers. A 320GB version of the GoFlex Slim drive can be purchased for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $99.99 USD.
At an ultra-sleek 9mm—38 percent leaner than the current GoFlex ultra-portable drives—the new GoFlex Slim drive is roughly the width of a pencil. Sliding effortlessly into a pocket, purse or messenger bag, the GoFlex Slim portable drive enables transport, access and enjoyment of personal digital content from anywhere, making it the perfect complement to today’s mobile lifestyle. Equipped with a 7200RPM drive and a USB3.0 interface to accelerate transfer speeds up to 10x faster than USB2.0, this attractive super-slim drive delivers quick access to large, multi-media files such as HD movies and video games. The faster drive speed takes full advantage of the included plug-and-play USB 3.0 interface, while still maintaining compatibility with USB 2.0 ports. The GoFlex Slim portable drive also allows for use between Windows and Mac® computers, interchangeably, without formatting or performance loss. Additionally, the drive’s included premium backup software provides automatic and continuous backups and encrypts files and folders.
“The continued growth of personal digital media stores, our increasingly mobile lifestyles and the continued proliferation of mobile devices are driving the demand for slimmer, more portable storage solutions,” said Patrick Connolly, vice president and general manager of Retail at Seagate. “Netbooks and slim laptops are great for consuming media, but are limited when it comes to creating and storing high-definition films and photos. With the benefit of using Seagate’s Momentus® Thin drive, the 9mm GoFlex® Slim ultra-portable hard drive breaks through these boundaries—delivering a beautiful, ultra-slim, lightweight storage solution to complement existing mobile computing devices so they can enjoy even more of the content they love, anywhere they want.”
The GoFlex Slim portable drive will also be available in a version for use specifically with Mac OS X computers. The GoFlex Slim for Mac portable drive will be HFS+ formatted out-of-the-box, making it fully compatible with Apple Time Machine® backup software, while maintaining the ability to work across both Microsoft® Windows® and Mac OS X computers. To deliver a fresh look that fits seamlessly with today’s Apple product line, the GoFlex Slim for Mac drive will feature a durable, soft-touch, metallic finish, which is also designed to withstand scratches, fingerprints or other marks incurred from travel. A 320GB version of the GoFlex Slim for Mac drive will be made available in May at Apple retail outlets nationwide for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $99.00 USD.
“Consumers have a desire to have digital content available at their fingertips. However, in some cases, personal libraries of digital content are exceeding the storage capacity available in notebook PCs,” said John Rydning, IDC’s research director for hard disk drives. “USB attached HDD storage that is capacious, affordable, lightweight, and in a slim form factor will be appealing to many of these consumers.”
According to IDC, tablets, mini-laptops and netbooks are largely seen as secondary PC devices and are primarily used for information “grazing,” or as vehicles of content consumption. Additionally, tablets, mini-notebooks and netbooks have very limited on-board storage requiring them to have access to additional storage, whether it is local attached, networked or from the cloud1. The GoFlex Slim and GoFlex Slim for Mac drives enable people to easily sync files between their computer and the drive, so that they can easily store, transport and enjoy hundreds of DVD-quality movies, hours of digital video, and multiple-thousands of photos or digital music while on-the-go.