Seagate (http://www.seagate.com) has introduced a new collection of GoFlex for Mac external drives designed to make it easy for those who use Mac OS X (10.5.8 or higher) and Time Machine to backup, shuttle, or share their digital content. I test drove the 1TB Limited Edition ultra-portable drive (US$199.95) — and have no trouble recommending it.

The GoFlex Limited Edition sports a standardized 2.5-inch form factor, making it the slimmest high-cap drive available on the market today, according to the folks at Seagate. I won’t argue as it has a depth of 12.5mm and is shorter in length than an iPhone. That means it’s easy to slip into a briefcase and take on the road with you.

The 1TB storage capacity is also nothing to sneeze at. You can store up to 4 million photos, over 18,500 hours of music, or 1,500 hours of video.

However, where the GoFlex for Mac product really shines is that it comes bundled with FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 adapters and cables. If you’re backing up and have a choice of FireWire or USB 2.0, definitely go with the former. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

The new Seagate portable and desktop solutions are HFS+ formatted out-of-the-box, so they’re ready to rock with Apple’s Time Machine backup software, while maintaining the ability to work across both Mac OS X and Windows computers. GoFlex for Mac drives can also be used with computers running Windows by simply downloading an HFS+ driver for Windows from Seagate.com, which will provide full read-write access to the drive from a Windows computer.

The GoFlex also sports the flexibility to change the drive‚Äôs interface to USB 3.0 or powered eSATA for use with Windows computers. Macs currently don’t support USB 3.0, but if/when they do, the Seagate solutions will be ready.

The 2.5-inch, ultra-portable drive boasts a durable, soft-touch, metallic finish. It perfectly matches the looks of the Mac line-up (well, except for the white MacBook) –and is also designed to withstand scratches, fingerprints or other marks incurred from travel.

The 1TB Limited Edition ultra-portable drive costs a reasonable US$199.95. And it offers everything you could want in such a device: portability, significant storage and speed.

— Dennis Sellers
dsellers@applecentral.com