The world's thinnest 500GB portable hard drive is just 7mm thick, or a hair thinner than the Apple iPhone 6 Plus.
This is how the Seagate Seven got its name.
To achieve this degree of slenderness, the Seagate Seven uses a 5mm, 2.5-inch hard drive typically found in ultra-slim laptops.
But the company took the design even further, moulding the steel chassis to follow the contours of the hard drive. At a casual glance, it could be mistaken for an internal hard drive, rather than a portable version.
This minimalist design is probably what won the Seagate Seven a Red Dot Award for product design excellence recently.
Given its stark industrial look, my first, wholly irrational impression was to check that I wouldn't get an electric shock from touching it when it was in use.
You will feel a slight vibration.
The truth is that the metal chassis feels good. It is slick and smooth with rounded corners. More importantly, it feels solid despite being so thin. I doubt it would bend as easily as some of the latest smartphones.
A blue status indicator lights up when the drive is connected and pulses when you transfer data. The Seven comes with a USB cable and supports the USB 3.0 interface.
Included inside the hard drive is the Seagate Dashboard app. This utility backs up data from your PC and is able to save and share your photos and videos to social media networks including Facebook and Flickr.
The Dashboard app can also be used to manage the Seagate Seven. You can turn off the status indicator, enable power-saving mode and test the drive for errors.
Mac users will be pleased to know that the Seven is also formatted (exFAT) to work with Mac computers out of the box.
As the Seven uses a standard notebook-class drive, its performance is not as good as that of desktop-class hard drives. Using the CrystalDiskMark benchmark, I found that sequential read and write speeds ranged from 93 to 96MBps. This is a bit on the low side for a notebook hard drive. I had expected it to break the 100MBps mark.
It took 18 seconds to copy a 1.5GB file from a PC to the Seagate Seven via USB 3.0.
Finally, the Seven's slim and attractive design comes at a price. At $199, it costs as much as the average 2TB portable hard drive. It also comes in only one capacity - 500GB.
A cool-looking premium portable hard drive for those who value aesthetics.
Interface: USB 3.0
Value for money 2/5
This article was first published on May 6, 2015.
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