Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra Review

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The FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra performs well enough, but its trial backup software doesn't impress users or experts and the cost per gigabyte is pretty high. A good buy but not if low price is your top priority.

After testing a 1.5TB model, the expert Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex review at CNET gives high marks for this drive's speedy USB 2.0 performance, ability to work with Macs without requiring any reformatting, and two-piece design (hard drive and adapter with connector and USB 3.0 port) that lets you mix and match with other adapters (e.g., Firewire) and devices. Lower grades are awarded for mediocre data transfer speeds with the USB 3.0 interface. The review by PC Mag concurs about the relatively slow USB 3.0 speeds, but doesn't consider that a deal-breaker. Still, these experts are unimpressed with the bundled backup software, which they note is nothing more than "trialware." Consumers generally seem pleased. Typical comments found in reviews at Best Buy note the ease of set up and operation and express appreciation for out-of-the-box Mac compatibility. However, a handful of users express concern about the product's durability, complaining that the drive stopped working after a short period, and a few assert the software is useless.

The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra (starting at $90, Amazon) can use USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 interfaces and it's Mac-compatible without any reformatting. In addition to the 500GB version on our list, the GoFlex Ultra is available in 320GB, 750GB, 1TB, and 1.5TB sizes; all come in black but the 500GB model can be had in red, grey, or blue, as well. It weighs 0.33 pounds and measures 4.4 x 3.2 x 0.6 inches and comes with a two-year warranty.

Although reviewers like the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra, we're hedging our endorsement. There are cheaper 500GB external hard drives on the market that feature better bundled software. If price is less important than the flexibility afforded by the two-piece design, then this is one portable drive worth considering.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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