Review: Seagate FreeAgent|Go – Portable Drive

img_0820Seagate’s FreeAgent|Go Portable Drive is the first external hard drive that I laid my pretty little hands on. I was dreading actually using it, because I thought it was extremely complicated and time consuming. I imagined myself disheveled in a corner, with my computer running extremely slow, giving me errors that the maximum capacity was dangerously close to being met, advising me to close some windows…and me, flipping through pages, trying to figure out how I could clear some of the memory from my computer, by connecting it to a hard drive, before it gave me the oh' so dreaded BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH. That was my fear. I hoped not to end up in that situation.

And that's exactly how it happened. …Sort of…I even documented it, because I was like, "Oh my god, my thoughts have become my reality – FML".

I was forced to use the portable drive one night, when my computer decided to do its own thing. I plugged in, with my eyes closed, and hoped it would happen magically, and honestly that’s almost exactly how it happened.

The portable drive comes with one short, white USB cable and a “Quick Start Guide”. As soon as I plugged in, I clicked on the drive and was prompted to take action. It asked me what I wanted to do, backup, update, etc. and in a manner that was extremely pleasing to me, because I am a visual person. The product had an application running, showing me the different things the hard drive could do. It was a relief to use something new and not have to download anything using a CD – the software is preloaded onto the drive (it’s netbook compatible!).

You hear the word encryption and without some technological background, you may not automatically know what it means. The demo shows you – in an ‘everyone can understand’ manner.

It’s a plug and play device; the Quick Start Guide is a mere 9 inches by 12 inches (approximate), sheet of paper, folded into 8 sections – so you can imagine how small. The small size is almost comforting, because you know you won’t be stuck reading through a bunch of pages while trying to use the drive.

The portable drive was a beautiful shiny pink and I’m not only saying that because I’m a woman. I’m sure if they sent me a blue one, I would’ve loved having it just as much. I love options, and Seagate provides just that. You can purchase up to 10 different colors (titanium silver, tuxedo black, ruby red, royal blue, sky blue, solar orange, think pink, champagne gold, spring green and forest green).

The size of the hard drive is also great – it’s tiny, lightweight and extremely thin. It boasts dimensions of 0.49" in H x 3.15" in W x 5.12" in L. It weights 5.64 oz (less than a freaking pound!!!). Isn’t that incredible? Here comes this product to save my day, and I won’t even feel the difference in my bag when I start carrying it around everywhere.

The capacities range from 160 GB to 500 GB and some capacities vary by color so doublecheck that they have the combo you want before getting excited.

Since I’m on the road a lot, and no longer use my personal computer as often as I once did, my current laptop, aka my work computer, was the home to over a year’s worth of pictures. I love the camera ladies and gentlemen. I attempt to capture every single memorable moment when I’m out and about, with friends, in new cities, etc…that takes a toll on your computer. At one point, I even managed to bring my track count on my computer to over 11,000 songs…You would’ve thought I was using a really outdated laptop if you saw how slow it performed, but that all ended when I transferred all of my personal treasures onto this beauty of a hard drive.

My apologizes for not capturing the time it took to transfer all of my prized possessions but I can assure you it was quick, thanks to good’ ole Mr.USB who performed at a rate of up to 480 Mb/s. Its rotational speed is 5400 RPM and because I didn’t fully understand what that really meant I asked another great man in my life, Mr.Google, to help me out. I searched for the performance specs of similar drives (different capacities and sizes) and this drive either performed at the same level or better (I even compared some benchmarks). If you’re someone who has a ton of stuff and think it may take longer than you may want to wait, you can leave your drive on doing its magic because the drive is ‘environmentally smart’ enough to power itself down when it’s no longer in use (through its power management features).

The drive is affordable (prices range from $89.99 to $149.99), and for the capacity you’re getting I would consider it an absolute ‘bang for your buck’. At first I was annoyed that it did not come with a dock, but when you see its size you won’t see that as a problem. For one, I don’t need the drive to stand parallel next to my screen when its use, so that wasn’t the issue. I only wanted something that could protect it when I put it away. Its size comes in handy with its storage because it fits in every side pocket in most of my purses, and like most laptop bags, there are many compartments that go unused so you can easily fit it into one of those.

I went on Seagate’s site today and low and behold, my only ‘complaint’ about this product not coming with a dock was answered when I clicked on ‘Special Offers’. All of the drives are on sale, and almost all (except the 1TB) come with a free dock. The dock also comes with a protective travel case. You can’t beat that.

I was recently informed that the sales for mini notebooks/netbooks were projected to increase significantly this year, if you are one of those people interested in obtaining one, but the memory capacity is holding you back from making that purchase, consider complementing it with one of Seagates’ portable drives. In a world when we’re surrounded by the same color computers everywhere we turn, adding some style to your life through these drives provides you with the edge you’re looking for.

The portable drive answered all of my prayers and provided a very pleasant experience while using it. I realized how essential and beneficial it could be for someone like me, taking tons of pictures, saving all my documents, and all types of music, especially from the 90’s. If you need storage, and don’t want to do it online, this product is the answer. Scheduling backups is a breeze and easily configurable. The device really does work quickly. When I first used it, I transferred almost 40 GBs of stuff – I tried updating it tonight, because since then, I’ve added a lot of work related materials to my laptop and even then the backup was super fast. So fast I double-checked what I did, and did it again …it was fast the 2nd time too. It wasn’t my error – that’s just how it works.

Seagate’s Free Agent|Go: Portable Drive is a Diamond Award recipient for being aesthetically pleasing, lightweight, being one of the thinnest on the market (if not the thinnest), offering a free dock, being user friendly, and for providing a 5 year warranty.

It also receives a Green Award for helping achieve "a smarter planet" (through energy conservation).

Thanks Seagate for bringing me into the light of portable hard drives.