|Seagate FreeAgent Go 640GB External Hard Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Hank Tolman - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 10 December 2009|
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FreeAgent GO Final Thoughts
External Hard Drives and other means of portable storage are becoming smaller, more spacious, and more portable than ever before. They are also becoming much more appealing to the eye. Seagate has always been a reliable name in storage and the FreeAgent GO family of drives only further solidifies their standing. The FreeAgent GO meets up to the standard in drive performance, easily keeping pace with the Western Digital My Passport Essential drive. Seagate really pushed the FreeAgent GO to the front, though, with their innovative design, making one of the thinnest drives available. The docking options available for the FreeAgent GO, as well as the excellent software provided on the drives really makes them stand out as well. The Seagate Manager software makes it easy for anyone to backup or sync their FreeAgent GO drive and centralize all of their media onto a single device that can be easily carried wherever you go.
For a family such as mine, with many different computers all over the house, office, even in the car, the FreeAgent GO provides a great solution. Recently, my wife has been worried about natural disasters and how we can easily secure perishable keepsakes and media in case of an emergency. The FreeAgent GO gives us a certain piece of mind, knowing that we need only grab a palm-sized device to save all our photos, videos, recordings, etc. The handy travel case protects the drive while we take it to share our media with family and friends.
Overall, the Seagate FreeAgent GO is an excellent portable storage device. It is clear that Seagate put a lot of thought into the consumer when creating the FreeAgent GO series and they have even listened to and made changes from customer feedback. Making software for the increasingly popular 64 bit operating systems is one example of that.
The Seagate FreeAgent GO drive met the performance standard for it's class. There was nothing spectacular or overly significant about the FreeAgent GO's performance, but it certainly didn't dissapoint. The FreeAgent GO stood up to it's testing against the Western Digital My Passport Essential and it held its own ground, not allowing the other drive to get very far ahead in any area. Performance is not an area where the Seagate FreeAgent GO really outshines the competition, but it maintains a very good transfer rate, access time, and CPU usage.
The sleek and slim design of the FreeAgent GO makes it very appealing to the eye. It's small size makes it ideal for transport, and it even has LEDs on the bottom that pulsate gently when the drive is in use. Standing next to a plain, bare external drive, the FreeAgent GO is definitely more visually assertive. The FreeAgent Dock+ and carrying case add to the appearance of the FreeAgent GO drive. The dock allows the drive to stand regally on your desktop (or entertainment center in my case). The carrying case makes taking a cold metal box with you almost fashionable. In all, the FreeAgent GO does outpace the competition in its appearance.
The FreeAgent GO certainly gains a leg up on the competition through its construction. While many external drives are only protected by a plastic shell, the FreeAgent GO offers a metal casing to provide extra security. There is only one issue with this, as I mentioned earlier. It seems as though the top and bottom metal plates of the FreeAgent GO are not completely secured to the plastic mid-section of the drive casing. This will probably not be an issue at all most of the time, but if an edge of one of the plates catches on something, it could bend or break. I suppose that is the trade off, though, for having the look, feel, and security of a metal casing.
The Seagate Manager software that comes with the FreeAgent GO really elevates the drive from standard to excellent. The ease of use and functionality of the software gives even the least tech savvy of users a feeling of comfort and security. Backup and syncing only require a couple of clicks, and then take place automatically. Securing your files is also extremely easy. Another nice feature is the hot swappable nature of the drive, meaning you can just grab it and go, without worrying about safely removing the hardware. The FreeAgent Dock+ provides extra functionality along with the drive. Three extra USB 2.0 ports puts all of your devices within your reach and the dock itself lets avoid any fumbling with cables to plug in and unplug the FreeAgent GO drive.
As of December 2009 the Seagate FreeAgent GO 640 GB USB 2.0 drive (model ST910004FAA2E1-RK) sells for $129.99 at Newegg.com, and has also been found in our Price Comparison Tool. Also as of this writing, Newegg.com has the Special Edition silver-chrome version of the FreeAgent GO 640 GB for $139.99 (ST906403FSA2E1-RK), and that drive comes with a dock. At the price, the FreeAgent GO is directly in line with the price of competing drives. Add in the dock that comes with the special edition drive, and you have quite a good deal on your hands. The extra features provided by the Seagate Manager software add enough to make the Seagate FreeAgent GO drive a better value. There are definitely 640 GB drives that cost less than the FreeAgent GO, but the portability, the software, and size certainly make up for that.
Overall, I really enjoyed testing and using the Seagate FreeAgent GO 640 GB USB 2.0 drive. It is a great drive, and very reliable. The peformance meets the standard and the appearance, construction, and functionality exceed the standard. One thing I really like about the FreeAgent go is that it has pleased my wife and meets the needs of my family in our increasingly digital lifestyle. Just the fact that my wife allows the FreeAgent GO to stand on our entertainment center next to the fru-fru she puts in is saying a lot.
+ Sleek, Slim, Ultra Portable
- Packaging Needs an Overhaul
Final Score: 8.35 out of 10.
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