Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Pro external hard drive (500GB)
Seagate offers a variety of cable modules to plug into the FreeAgent GoFlex Pro, including USB 3.0
- Offers choose-your-connection interface modules
- Modules can be unwieldy, Must remove module to insert into a dock
The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Pro external hard drive is a solid, stylish-looking performer that benefits from--and is hampered by--its connection module system.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
The FreeAgent GoFlex Pro is one model in Seagate's refresh of its portable hard drive line (desktop versions are available, too). The new GoFlex system this drive is a part of encompasses drives of varying colours and capacities, connection modules, and accessories.
The unique hook to these models is that Seagate has reengineered the devices to separate the drive from the bridge board that translates the drive's native SATA to another interface connection. As a result, Seagate can offer a variety of cable modules for use with a single drive--giving you plenty of connection flexibility. Of those, only the USB 2.0 GoFlex Cable can be removed from the connector module; the rest are fixed in place. The USB 3.0 cable costs US$30, the eSATA cable costs $20, the FireWire 800 cable is $40, and the Auto Backup cable (which turns the drive into an automatic-backup unit much like the company's now-retired Replica drive, using disk-imaging software powered by Rebit) sells for $30.
Another potential issue, though, lies with the module concept itself. The drive has not one, but two connections to pass through (the bridge module's connector, and then the connection from the bridge module to your PC). I found on the shipping unit I tried that the connector module could come unseated more easily than I'd expect--a risk when a drive might be sitting on an airplane tray table or the side of a couch. Another annoyance: You have to pop the module off to use it with the dock that comes with the Pro drive, for example (Seagate says a dock that accommodates the drive with the USB 2.0 module in place will be out later this year).
In the PCWorld Labs, the drive performed well--but surprisingly, even though the drive ran at 7200 rpm, its performance was largely comparably to the older 5400-rpm FreeAgent Go we'd tested previously.
In our tests, we tried the 500GB drive using both the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 modules. Over USB 2.0, the drive took 145 seconds to read a 3.68GB folder of files (same as the previous FreeAgent Go), 134 seconds to read a large 3.68GB file (1 second less than its predecessor), and 155 seconds to write that large file (the same as before). The only test that appeared improved in the jump from 5400-rpm to 7200-rpm: Our file and folder write test, in which the GoFlex took 182 seconds to write that same folder of files, compared with 197 seconds on the 5400-rpm drive.
Over USB 3.0, the drive performed comparably to the 7200-rpm Seagate BlackArmor PS 110, the company's first USB 3.0 drive.
Clearly, the GoFlex portable drives perform well, and will deliver fine if you leave it plugged into your chosen module on your desk. But the design is a bit kludgy, sadly. Unless you require the modular flexibility this drive provides, competing models may make a more compelling choice--especially if you need to use the drive in a dock, and then remove it from the dock to take it along with you.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Prices of SSDs and DRAM will crash in 2019, Gartner predicts
- Pure adds more NVMe with an eye to the next storage speed bump
- What one company learned from testing Intel's superfast Optane SSDs
- New, colourful LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C was designed by Neil Poulton
- Western Digital begins production of the world's tallest 3D NAND 'skyscraper'
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTTest AnalystACT
- CCSolution Architect - Network Operations/Design - TelcoVIC
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)ACT
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- FTProduct Manager (IT Clinical Systems) - Permanent - Syd, Melb or BrisbNSW
- TPChange ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Java EngineerWA
- CCSenior Network Architect l CCNP/CCIE R&S l Cisco ACINSW
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Engineer (Mid level) - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- CCSystems AdminNSW
- CCWindows Server EngineerNSW
- FTSAP SD/MM ConsultantNSW
- CCJava Developer IntegrationQLD
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Infrastructure Business AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Linux AdministratorNSW
- FTData Entry Administrator - TelecommunicationsNSW
- TPSenior SQL Database AdministratorNSW
- CCSystems Specialist - Network Systems l Port MacquarieQLD
- FTProject Manager (Cyber Security) - Permanent - IT Services - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)SA
- FTSystem Analyst - IntegrationQLD
- TPSecurity Controls Specialist - ISO 27002VIC
- FTFull Stack DeveloperNSW