Review: Seagate FreeAgent Go 500GB hard drive

A few years ago, a 512MB memory card was a huge deal. MP3 players used to have 128MB internal storage and the iPod was a monster at 40GB. Now time-travel into the future where the FreeAgent Go 500GB drive first half a terabyte of storage into a package a little bigger than an iPhone.

This slim drive has one port – a mini-USB port that connects either to a Y-USB cable – one that requires two jacks for unpowered USB – or a standard cable. Once it’s powered up you can use it on Macs or PCs. The drive costs $240.

The Go is completely quiet and has no fans. Once it’s in, it just shows up and gets read to back up your PC with the included software. A Mac version of the drive is also available with FireWire, but the model we tested worked just fine as an OS X external drive.

Transfer speed is a bit slow, on the aggregate. I noticed a bit of lag during standard file transfers. However, because this drive is so small and so dense it works best as a back-up drive, storing your data for emergencies. I wouldn’t be surprised if designers used these almost as disposable drives, forgoing optical media entirely.

It’s exciting to see where we’re headed in terms of storage. Five hundred gigabytes in an amazingly tiny package is startling and just wait until we start being able to lose 4 terabytes at the bottoms of our laptop bags.

Bottom: Line $240 for 500 GB ain’t too shabby.

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