Price When Reviewed: 81 . 94
Pros: Good-looking; faster than competing models.
Cons: More expensive than Windows version.
The FreeAgent Go for Mac is an external hard drive by storage giant Seagate that promises fast FireWire 800 transfer speeds, spacious storage, a bundled dock, and a stylish (if bulky) white and aluminium design meant to complement the Mac.
There’s also a less expensive Windows-focused version with FAT32 formatting and more colourful designs – but with a USB 2.0 connection only, and you have to buy the dock separately.
We tested the 250GB FreeAgent Go Drive equipped with FireWire 800 and USB 2.0; while it lacks a FireWire 400 port, the FreeAgent Go does include an adaptor cable for connecting the drive’s FireWire 800 port to a FireWire 400 connector on your Mac.
The dock plugs into the computer with a FireWire 800 cable and works much like an iPod or digital camera dock would. Alternatively, you can bypass the dock and plug in the drive directly to your computer using the USB 2.0, FireWire 800, or FireWire 800 to 400 cables.
We tested the drive using FireWire 800, USB 2.0, and FireWire 400 on a MacPro. In our Copy 1GB test, the drive took 41 seconds on average with the FireWire 800 connection, 51 seconds for the FireWire 400 and 45 seconds with the USB 2.0. These times are slightly slower than other desktop drives we’ve tested, but marginally faster than competing portable drives.
The duplicate test results were even more impressive. It only took 50 seconds to duplicate a 1GB file with the FireWire 800; 1 minute, 16 seconds with the FireWire 400; and 1 minute, 31 seconds with the USB 2.0 connection. These times, along with the low memory Photoshop test results (FireWire 800, 1 minute, 38 seconds; FireWire 400, 1 minute and 45 seconds; and USB 2.0, 1 minute, 48 seconds) are not only faster than most portable drives we’ve seen, but comparable to many larger desktop drives.
The FreeAgent Go models offer great design, satisfying speed and plenty of transfer options with their multiple ports and adaptors.