Seagate compact drives pack a punch


Two new hard drives from Seagate deserve a closer look.

A 4TB USB-powered 2.5-inch drive is unique. Most hard drives of this capacity which are usually plug-powered are likely to be 3.5-inch drives. In fact, the largest USB-powered 2.5-inch drive currently available is 2TB.

How did Seagate manage to pull this off? By stacking two thin 2.5-inch drives on top on each other and squeezing them into a compact casing.

As for the power requirements, some serious tweaks of firmware must have been necessary to make it possible to be USB-driven.

The 4TB Seagate Backup Plus is also fast, offering a USB 3.0 interface with transfer speeds of up to 220MB/sec.

It may not be as fast as 7,200rpm 3.5-inch hard drives but it is definitely faster than most current USB-powered drives. Users who require portability and high-capacity storage would find the Seagate 4TB most useful.

For those who prefer a slimmer drive, although smaller in capacity, the Backup Plus Slim is an alternative.

It comes in three capacities, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB. It is the same as any USB-powered drive out there, except that the casing is very slim - 12.1mm - almost the size of an unmounted hard drive.

How much: Backup Plus Fast 4TB ($449), Backup Plus Slim 500GB ($89), 1TB ($119), 2TB ($239)

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