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Seagate introduces Go-Flex external storage for Mac


January 19, 2011

Seagate has added new members to its flexible FreeAgent GoFlex range of storage solutions,...

Seagate has added new members to its flexible FreeAgent GoFlex range of storage solutions, specifically aimed at Mac users

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Last year was a good year for Apple and, Steve Jobs' health issues aside, this year looks promising too. Seagate has responded to the needs of this growing community by adding Mac-centric storage solutions to its FreeAgent GoFlex family. Coming in portable and desktop varieties, and capacities ranging from 500GB to 3TB, the new additions can be used with other GoFlex devices and benefit from cross-platform compatibility.

Whether it's backing up an iTunes library or safeguarding your iLife against accidental deletion, the new FreeAgent GoFlex for Mac drives have been designed to make the backup, transport or sharing of files an easy affair for Mac users. The housing surrounding the new drives has been given a durable soft-touch metallic finish and they can, of course, be used with other devices from the GoFlex range, including the Net media sharing unit and the TV HD Media Player.

The new FreeAgent GoFlex for Mac storage solutions on display at CES 2011

They're all supplied HFS+ formatted, making them compatible with Apple's Time Machine backup software while maintaining the ability to work on both PC and Mac without the need to reformat (Windows users will need only download a free driver from Seagate).

Connecting the GoFlex drives to a Mac is catered for by the included FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 adapters and cables, but the storage solution is flexible enough to enable the interface to be changed to USB 3.0 or eSATA for use with PCs.

The GoFlex For Mac range includes a limited edition ultra-portable drive which sports a 1TB, 2.5-inch HDD, and carries a suggested retail of US$199.95. The 4.71 x 3.51 x 0.87-inch (120 x 89 x 22mm), 0.62 pound (280g) GoFlex TM for Mac ultra-portable also has a 2.5-inch portable drive with a spin speed of 5400 RPM and comes in 1TB (US$199.99) and 1.5TB (US$249.99) capacities.

The drive in the 4.14 x 3.23 x 0.55-inch (112 x 82 x 14mm) Pro portable flavor spins at 7200RPM, offering significantly faster data transfer rates than the rest of its family. This version is offered in 500GB (US$149.99) and 750GB (US$179.99) sizes.

The deskbound member of the family sports a 3.5-inch high-capacity drive, making it the chunkiest and heaviest of the drives on offer at 6.22 x 4.88 x 1.73-inches (158 x 124 x 44mm) and 2.38 pounds (1.08kg). The base adapter shows approximate capacity remaining, but there's also optional software available that displays the unit's real-time capacity if required. The Desk for Mac drive has a suggested retail of US$219.99 for the 2TB version and US$279.99 for 3TB.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden

I have a 2TB GoFlex using Firewire 800 which I use on a MacBook Pro, works great; connects to Windows Computers without a problem.

Aaron McClinchey
19th January, 2011 @ 05:27 pm PST

Why are the Seagate/mac drives so much more than the Seagate/windows drives?

I bought the Seagate 2TB GoFlex for 100.00 and the 1.5 TB portable GoFlex for 140.00.

And, by the way, I have spent the last two evenings trying to reformat them to HFS and it has been a royal pain.

20th January, 2011 @ 05:46 am PST

I haven't been too impressed with Seagates in the past, and I have bought quite a few of them. Just haven't been as reliable as Lacie. But this formatting thing is stupid. Formatting on a Mac takes less than 30 seconds to take FAT 32 or NTFS to Mac Ext Journaled. Only on Windows, does formatting become a big deal, like it's the biggest step you have taken in your life. So you don't need to buy a dedicated Mac hard drive. FW800 makes it good. Still waiting for FW800 AND USB 3.0 on hard drives, and looking forward to large capacity external SSDs.

20th January, 2011 @ 07:58 am PST

One reason for the price being higher than their PC version might be that the Mac version includes both USB 2.0 and Firewire 800 connector bases. (The PC version includes only the USB 2.0 connector base; Firewire and USB 3.0 bases are separate purchases.)

20th January, 2011 @ 09:09 am PST

@idahomeus: according to the copy which I just read it states: They\'re all supplied HFS formatted, making them compatible with Apple\'s Time Machine backup software while maintaining the ability to work on both PC and Mac WITHOUT the need to reformat (Windows users will need only download a free driver from Seagate). Read the bit in parenthesis. So, why have you spent the last 2 nights reformatting when you can simply download the driver? It clearly states there\'s no need to reformat the drives for use with a Windows system?

24th January, 2011 @ 11:34 pm PST

@Chevypower - you are absolutely correct. I've been doing exactly that for years. It may be the best kept secret of the industry...the difference between the pc and mac version of an external HD (besides the color and price) is about a minute of your time. (But that assumes you know what you're doing of course...for others like @idahomeus...THAT'S why they're more expensive...it's called the 'MAC TAX' and it's generally not considered a compliment) FWIW, I've been using the black Seagate 1TB Flex w/FW800 (reformated to HFS ext journaled) for my Time Machine drive and Super Duper backups for a while now and it's been great.

28th January, 2011 @ 05:57 pm PST
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