Seagate FreeAgent Go 320GB hard drive review

Need a large amount of storage but not got the space? Then Seagate believes it has the solution with its latest portable hard drive the FreeAgent Go, but does it? We get data transferring (oh exciting) to find out.

While we admit that portable hard drives aren't the most exciting thing in the world, they do come under that "extremely useful" category as files sizes get bigger and bigger.

The Seagate offering bumps that portable offering to 500GB to complete against similar offerings from the likes of Buffalo. We've reviewed the 320GB model here, which should still give you a stack of storage for a small size.

That small size is about the size of a Moleskine notepad (it's actually 12.5 x 80 x 130mm and weighs 160g) and the four different colours, red, blue, black and silver with white accents make it pretty stylish. A simple, but nice touch, is that the bottom is coated in a slightly rubberised material so you get a better grip on your desk.

Power and connection to the PC are via a single USB 2.0 cable, although annoyingly it's not a very long cable (it's the length of a standard 105 keyboard) so you'll have to make sure you can place the drive near the PC or Mac’s USB socket.

With no LED lights there is no feedback as to what is happening, but this keeps things simple (you'll soon know if it’s not working by it not showing on your desktop). If there isn't enough power you will get a very quiet beep.

When it comes to transferring files the 5400rpm drive is quick, you'll get around a read write speed of around 18MBps, which is enough for most applications, certainly in a portable device, and while it’s not as fast as some of the portable drives out there, the price (around £85) means you get plenty of storage for your money.

For those wondering, you should be able to get around 80,000 MP3 files on the drive or around 320 hours of standard video.

Those looking to spend extra cash can also opt for a docking station.

Verdict

Hard drives maybe boring, but as we've said they are useful. This drive, which is capable of fitting in a shirt pocket (just don't tell your tailor), goes some way to making things a little bit sexier.

The price, drive speed and design all get a thumbs-up, the only thing that doesn't is that short USB cable.