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  • Gigantopithecus - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    Sorry Seagate, shaving a few mm off a portable external drive's height is simply not worth a >100% cost increase to me. Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    +1 Reply
  • GullLars - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    First, this is not news on an external HDD, it's news on an _External HDD ENCLOSURE_ that comes bundled with a standard 7mm 2,5" HDD.
    Second, this is really not a big deal, as +- a couple of mm on the hight of the external enclosure only matters to one in a million users.
  • tno - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    Thin drives come into play for those that are traveling light. This might, again, not have any bearing on your user experience, but for some it does. In addition to the slim size you're also getting USB 3.0, and as is always the case with the GoFlex line, the future proof of the interchangeable adapters. Put money on Seagate being one of the first to put Thunderbolt on an external drive.

    My only concern is reliability. Having a single platter design should mitigate reliability concerns but heat will definitely come into play in these drives. I imagine that if Anand had noticed heat related slow down, he would have mentioned it, as he has in the past.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    Don't forget that a single 320GB platter is also an improvement over a single 250GB platter. I've got the first 640GB 2.5" HDD in a laptop I'm testing, and it feels a bit faster than previous 500GB HDDs, likely because of the increased areal density. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    Comparing to the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 500GB (since I don't see a 320GB in normal thickness) the slim is ~4 ounces lighter. I'm sure someone will complain that is noticeable, IMO it won't matter. Otherwise the 500GB is a 5400 RPM drive, don't know how many platters but might well be a pair of 250GB ones, so it would be slower. Otherwise it is still a GoFlex and USB 3.0. Given the increased storage space and the fact that it isn't a boot drive I would think most users are better off saving the $40 (it is $59.99 at newegg) unless they really want a thin drive. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    Yeah...I mean I can kind of see the point in using notebook drives in external enclosures instead of desktop drives, but Seagate's "normal" 2.5" external drives go up to 1.5TB...I've got one, and it's plenty small. Even from the pictures the difference here seems ridiculous. Much smaller capacity for a few MM shaved off the top? Who cares? Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    This. Or a capacity decrease at the same price. Reply
  • Rasterman - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    yeah its pretty dumb, why not just use a 1TB 12.5mm notebook drive, 5mm of extra thickness for 3x the storage at the same price. Reply
  • nadca - Friday, April 15, 2011 - link

    Please tell me you're trolling. Reply
  • Nataku - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    i thought the price is just 99.99? thats like, 20~30 difference at most... Reply
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  • PubFiction - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    Note books usually come with 1 harddrive if they are smaller however almost all the larger model notebooks I have seen come with 2 bays. 16" on up. And they come with those 2 bays and an optical drive. With SSDs i pretty much tell everyone spring for 1 with 2 drives. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    Pretty sure the key word was portable and 16" is definitely quite large to tote around all the time. I agree with you though, if you have the double-bay there are few things better for overall performance and sanity than a small SSD boot drive. Reply
  • erple2 - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    The only thing I can think of is a large boot drive and no extra spindle drive. But that's not cheap. Reply
  • juhatus - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    Also this kinda usb-powered is great for that living room boxee box as a storage... Reply
  • ckryan - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    I have a D series Dell Lattitude. I can put one SSD in the HDD bay, then the modular bay supports extra batteries, ODDs, FDDs, and of course another HDD. I sprung for the HDD drive bay because I seldom use the DVD drive anyway, and with a smaller capacity SSD I need some extra storage. I got tired of lugging around a USB 2.0 enclosure -- since I don't have USB 3 on my lappy anyway, I can't really see the Seagate as being advantageous to me. Still, I fall into the category of people who think buying an external device like this is kinda silly anyway. If you really need that few extra millimeters of thin, then buy it and be happy. Reply
  • chemist1 - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    Anand, you mentioned that you never needed an external drive because you had plenty of storage on your tower plus in you lab. But there's a key reason even those with plenty of storage need an external drive: remote backup, i.e., in a separate building (think fire or theft) --or, if you're especially prudent, and your stuff is especially critical, in a separate city (think earthquake). Sure, there's the cloud, but most people don't have access to, say, 500 GB of cloud storage. Besides, if you do have to replace lost data, it's much easier to have a clone of your HD in a remote location, than to try restoring it through a download. I have a local backup that is updated continuously, plus a pair of external drives, stored in a remote location, that are updated ~ monthly. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    Electrical surge is my main reason. I have over 10k pictures of my kids from birth through kindergarten. These are priceless. I would rather lose my car/house than these pictures. One of the first things I did was get an external hard drive and duplicate these pictures on the drive. I then took the external drive to my parents and copied everything to my dad's secondary 1TB drive. So unless all of PA falls into the ocean the pictures will be safe.

    I'm kinda the go-to guy at work for helping people fix their computers after they crash and in the last year I worked on 2 systems. Both had stopped working after the power went out during storms. In one case the PSU failed to protect the computer and fried everything. In the second case the PSU took the damage and saved the components.

    In the latter case my friend was very lucky. All of the pictures of his family (2 small kids) were on that computer and NOT BACKED UP. First thing I did after replacing his PSU was sending him an email with a deal on an external HDD. There is no excuse for not having protected storage as you never know what can happen. And since everyone is jacked in to broadband internet a lot of people feel uplugging the computer/power strip is enough to guarantee being safe. It's not.
  • softdrinkviking - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    how is going to have a tiny plastic sleeve around a drive going to impact durability?
    not that traditional external drives are especially safe to drop, but i would be extra worried about even a slight impact with so little protection.
    i have had a couple of drives get the click of death after a trip, so i am wary.
  • Spoelie - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    Single platter design restricts capacity to current SSD levels it seems, as evidenced by the Intel 320 screenshot. So the price is the only differentiating factor, not limited capacity.

    Is eSATA still faster than USB3 or is the difference minimal? Given there is no "protocol" conversion taking place.. You would need an extra cable for power though :s
  • A5 - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    I think both USB3 and eSATA are fast enough that the limiting factor for spindle drives is the drive's performance, not the interface. Reply
  • m00dawg - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    I'm a bit confused - the drive ships with NTFS but that doesn't seem like a significant issue if we wanted to use the drive with another file-system on another OS than Windows - we just wouldn't get the backup capabilities with the Seagate software, no?

    I know that sounds elementary and given the internals it seems likely that formatting it to whatever I want isn't an issue like any standard drive; but the article sort of hinted at other options (such as waiting for the Mac version) and thought I would check.
  • ggathagan - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    You are correct.
    It's not a significant issue.

    Seagate is simply using the same marketing approach that so many others do; put out a model that's pre-formatted for the Windows users and then put out a second model in white or aluminum with HPFS formatting to cater to the Apple crowd.
    It's all about "style".
  • Shadowmaster625 - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    My experience with thinner drives is that they fail more often. There is no reason to sacrifice reliability to shave off a few mm in any situation, let alone an external drive where size doesnt matter anyway. What you gonna do with a thinner drive? Take it out to dinner more often? Put it in your pocket and carry it around? Good luck with that... I wish you and your data the best... Reply
  • 3DoubleD - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    What ever happened to the idea of combining an SSD and an HDD? I think only having an SSD in a laptop is a huge disadvantage at this time. A hybrid drive could solve this, or perhaps a pair of super thin SSD and HDDs?

    We need to see laptop manufacturers innovate more in this area.

    How about instead of an optical drive, have a slot that can hold a hotswap external drive like this one. The drive can connect internally via USB 3.0. when you eject the drive you could connect it to another PC using a USB 3.0 cable. That way you can keep all your files in one place, no matter what computer you use, seems like a win-win in my book.
  • ggathagan - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    It's still out there (Seagate's Momentus XT), but that targets a different demographic.
    A hybrid drive only benefits you with recurring usage of the same files (usually system or program files).
    For external storage, the hybrid won't yield any benefit and will cost far more than traditional drives.

    Hot-swap drive bays aren't new, and plenty of laptops have them.
    I think we are simply at a point in time where the best interface for the next generation has not been decided on yet.

    For a laptop maker, the question is whether or not to use SATA, USB3 or as someone else mentioned, Intel's Thunderbolt.
    In that situation, committing to the wrong interface could be very costly.
    Since the vast majority of users don't ask for a hot-swap bay, there's no reason for anyone to jump the gun until a clear industry preference is established.

    Given that Apple has adopted Thunderbolt, it wouldn't surprise me to see TB adopted
    for this very purpose.
  • BlazePC - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link


    A Momentus XT hybrid drive in a portable (removable) storage environment is a fine idea (fit and function wise) for users who routinely back up their systems and application data with regularity. The firmware adaptives do take advantage of the flash area on the drive to drastically increase Win 7 imaging, Acronis and Windows scheduled backup data write times as well - so I'm not quite sure where you arrive at this idea that Momentus XT drives cater to a different demographic. I agree with most folks here that this drive is way too "thin" for the taking, especially with such a low capacity. This was a marketing and engineering blunder by Seagate but considering how things have gone since they absorbed Maxtor, I not the least bit surprised. Steve Luczo needs to whip these guys into shape before WD eats their lunch on all fronts. This is a consumer solutions waste of R&D effort if you ask me. Glad to see the rounded corners gone and a return to the Free Agent go style but for chripes sake, put back the mm's and add some (drive) meat for crying out loud.

    I built up a USB 3.0 portable drive for about $60 more than this 320 GB slim widget, and my rig has a more rugged enclosure and a 500GB Momentus XT.
  • kallogan - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    I bought a nearly as slim enclosure in China for 3 euros and a used 320GB 2,5" HDD for 25 euros. Am i the devil ? Reply
  • mpschan - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    I would love to see a more standardized way of displaying price information for product reviews.

    I read the review (quickly I'll confess), got to the end, read the first comment about double the price, and wondered where was the price displayed. I actually had to search for a dollar sign to find it.

    Other than that, enjoyed the review.
  • Spazweasel - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    To paraphrase commentary:

    "I don't understand its value therefore it has no value to anyone. Anyone who understands its value is actually wrong and is stupid."

    On an unrelated subject, why are techies viewed as arrogant?

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