SEAGATE HAS REVAMPED its range of Freeagent external hard drives, including a small dockable drive dubbed Freeagent Go.
The new portable backup drive is not much bigger than the 2.5-inch drive it contains and includes shock and vibration protection. It comes in a range of colours and capacities up to 500GB and is the first external hard drive to offer an optional docking station.
It should be available around September in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific for about $120 for 250GB, $150 for 320GB and $240 for 500GB, with the Mac versions being slightly more pricey at $160 and $190 for the 250GB and 320GB versions respectively.
The Freeagent Go's docking station has to be bought separately (for around $30), but the drive connects via standard USB 2.0 (or Firewire 800/400 for the Mac version) for those who don't need the docking option.
According to IDC's research director for removable storage, Wolfgang Schlichting: "The growth of the 2.5-inch form factor external hard disk drive market has been very strong, almost doubling in 2Q08 compared with 2Q 07." He reckons this is "much higher than the overall market and driven by the products' convenient size and connectivity, as well as their large storage capacity and affordability."
Seagate has also updated its Freeagent Desk and Freeagent XTreme 3.5-inch family of drives, which now offer up to 1.5TB of storage.
All of these are expected to hit shelves across September and October. The Freeagent Desk is expected to sell for around $130 for 500GB, $150 for 640GB, $230 for 1TB and $280 for 1.5TB. Again the Mac versions are more expensive at $170 for 500GB, $270 for 1TB and $350 for 1.5TB, and all are pre-tuned for Apple's Time Machine.
The Freeagent XTreme should go for $160 for 500GB, $180 for 640GB, $260 for 1TB and $300 for 1.5TB.
Windows users will also be able to install Seagate Manager, the company's automated back-up and multi-computer synchronisation software as well as software-based AES-256bit encryption and password protection. µ
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