I was in Staples before Christmas and they had the Seagate FreeAgent Go external drives on sale. I’ve never bought a 2.5″ external drive before because of concerns over reliability. But at about fifty cents a gig and the small size I decided to get the 80GB version. The small size would make it easier to carry and use with my MacBook. The five year warranty assuages my reliability concerns a bit.
The 2.5″ 5400rpm drive is 4.8 x 0.7 x 3.9 inches in size and weighs less than 5 ounces. For you metric folks that’s 12.2 x 1.85 x 9.9 centimeters and 182 grams.
The drive draws power from the USB connection and does not have a external power supply. The supplied USB cable has two connections to plug into the computer. One connection is enough on my 13″ MacBook so I can get away with using one port.
The drive comes pre-formatted as NTFS for Windows so I used OS X’s disk utility to format it with the Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) file system. The Windows software is delivered on the drive, there’s no CD included, so it should be copied off before formatting the drive. The Windows software can be used to password protect the drive, run applications on multiple PCs and password protect the drive. I didn’t run the software and generally have a low expectation of bundled software but this ZDNet review seems to like the software.
I use the external drive on my MacBook for two primary purposes. The first is to hold the virtual machines I run with VMware. The second is as a Time Machine drive for backing up my documents and pictures folders (and nothing else). The drive has worked fine for these purposes. It took 20 minutes 13 seconds to read a 21.5GB file from the drive and 16 minutes 8 seconds to write the 21.GB file when connected to my 13″ MacBook.