If you want serious storage that’s portable, Seagate’s 1.5TB FreeAgent GoFlex Desk (http://www.seagate.com) is a good deal at US$249.99. You can store up to 120 HD movies, 1,500 video games, thousands of photos or hours of digital music on this monster. (There’s also a $199.99, 1TB model.)
The drive is also flexible. The 1.5TB GoFlex Desk external drive comes with USB 2.0 connectivity. However, you can adapt the drive’s USB 2.0 interface to a USB 3.0 or FireWire 800 connection. There’s an upside and downside to this. No current Macs support USB 3.0; but if that happens, this drive will be ready.
That leaves Firewire, which is fine. Except that the Firewire adapter will set you back almost 50 bucks. Still, I’d recommend springing for the adapter as it will make an incredible difference in speed. Up to 10 times by my estimates. I’d also recommend getting a carrying case (Seagate offers one for 30 bucks). I back up pretty much everything to the drive and carry it with me when I’m away from the home office just in case something bad happens, so a case is handy.
With the GoFlex Desk, you can create, store and access content from either a Mac OS X or Windows computer, thanks to an included NTFS driver for Mac. The NTFS driver for Mac allows the drive to store and access files from both platforms without reformatting. You install the drive once on your Mac, and this allows it to read and write files on a Windows formatted drive with the included downloadable HFS+ driver for PCs.
The FreeAgent GoFlex Desk sports a black, 3.5-inch design, is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5.8 and higher, and runs at 5400 RPM (7200 would be better, of course). It lets you take full advantage of your Mac’s Time Machine software so you can automatically save and easily recover up-to-date copies of everything on your Mac
All things considered, this is a solid buy. It would be an even better one if it came with a FireWire cable.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10 (if it came with built-in Firewire support, I’d go with 10 out of 10)
— Dennis Sellers