Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Seagate FreeAgent Go
- Ceedo software lets you create and take a working environment with you, Allows for file encryption
- A little pricey, Supplied USB cable is a little short
This is a neat little drive that lets you create a working environment, which can be used on any Windows XP or Vista-based machine. It's a little pricey, but the Ceedo software it's bundled with is useful.
Price$ 229.00 (AUD)
Seagate's FreeAgent Go is more than just a portable 160GB hard drive, it's a portable work environment. It ships with software called Ceedo, which gives you a Windows XP Start menu-style interface that runs directly off the portable drive when launched. Using this menu you can run programs that have been installed on the hard drive and you can easily organise your data in My Documents-style folders.
When the drive is plugged in to the PC, you can choose to either run Ceedo and load programs directly from the FreeAgent Go hard drive, or you can just browse and store stuff on it like a normal drive (double-clicking on the drive in My Computer will also prompt these options). The drive comes with Ceedo stored on it and you don't even need to install it on the local PC in order to use it.
The Ceedo interface is very simple to use and it lists all the programs that are installed on your drive. Additionally, it has a handy storage indicator located on it that can let you know, at a glance, how much space is left on the FreeAgent Go hard drive.
The FreeAgent Go is the perfect storage device for you if you regularly work on multiple computer systems and want an efficient way of organising and storing your data so that you don't lose anything. Ceedo works on Windows XP and Vista-based PCs and it means you can share a common interface and program setup with your home, school or work PCs. The My Documents-style folders are particularly useful for keeping your data organised on the drive. You can use it to synchronise data from the PC to the hard drive too.
For security, Ceedo can be password-protected, and individual files on the drive can be encrypted by right-clicking on them selecting the 'Encrypt' option.
Plenty of free Ceedo-ready software can be downloaded and installed on your drive--there is a list of software on www.ceedoready.com/software, and you can even purchase an add-on program called Argo Application Installer, which lets you install your own applications on the hard drive and use them via the Ceedo interface. Free software that can be installed through Ceedo includes Firefox, Winamp and instant messaging clients such as Gaim.
When you launch an application using Ceedo, it will place a yellow outline on the program window so that you know it's running off the hard drive. It's a good idea not to run the same applications on the host PC and the hard drive at the same time. For example, if you're using Firefox on the host PC and then you start using the Firefox software through Ceedo, it will close down the host PC's Firefox window.
All up, we had fun sharing the drive between home, office and test PCs (it allowed to easily launch into some classic arcade games) and were able to use installed programs through Ceedo on Windows XP and Vista-based PCs without any problems. The drive itself is 10x12cm in size and about 1.5cm thick, and it has a single mini-USB port on it. We love the large amber-coloured light on the front of the unit, which is very easy on the eyes, especially when the drive is used at night. One of the utilities that ships with the drive even lets you turn this light off, which is very handy. Seagate has developed a wedge-shape design for this drive and it feels solid to the touch.
Its performance was zippy when connected to a high-end PC with a 7200rpm Western Digital hard drive. It was able to write data at a rate of 18MBps and read it at 21MBps, and file transfers from one location on the drive to another were accomplished at a rate of 10MBps. Our test data comprised mostly small documents, music files and video files of various sizes. The formatted capacity of the drive is 149GB, so there's plenty of space for programs and data to be stored.
The drive ships with a dual-head USB cable. One head is used for the data connection and the other one is used for power. Most newer machines probably won't require the power cable to plugged in, but some older machines might.
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