Seagate GoFlex Slim 320GB USB 3.0 Hard Drive ReviewTue, Apr 05, 2011 - 12:00 AM
Free Capacity and Final Thoughts
When it comes to storage capacity, the GoFlex Slim 320GB drive has 320GB (measured in 1,000,000,000 bytes per GB) on the drive platters; the end user is left with the equivalent of 298 GiB (1,073,741,824
bytes per GiB). This is the discrepancy between the physical and logical measure. This is still plenty of storage space for most people and if you need more space you’ll have to sacrifice having a portable drive this thin.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
The Seagate GoFlex Slim 320GB portable drive caught us a little off guard when it arrived. We weren’t sure what to expect, but in the end we found ourselves pleasantly surprised to find a portable drive that was fast, lightweight, small and looked good. Usually, you can’t find a way to blend all those features together without making sacrifices along the way, but that doesn’t appear to be the situation we have here today.
When it comes to performance the Seagate GoFlex Slim 320GB drive was able to max out our test system’s USB 2.0 ports, but luckily the GoFlex Slim also supports USB 3.0! When moving over to USB 3.0 headers on our test system the performance of the drive greatly increased and it made transferring movies and games much faster. In order to take full advantage of this drive you really need to have a USB 3.0 interface! With CrystalDiskMark we saw the GoFlex Slim 320GB drive peak at ~120MB/s read and ~118MB/s write, so if you’ve been using a USB 2.0 drive and are stuck at ~31MB/s write speeds you’ll see nearly a 4x reduction in the time it takes to backup your data or move files over to your portable drive. If you are moving hundreds of gigabytes of data that adds up to saving you hours of time.
The GoFlex Slim portable drive we looked at today is model number STBE320100 and it is priced at $99.99. This price really isn’t that bad considering the bare hard drive used inside (Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT007) will set you back $106.00 alone! That means that you are getting the enclosure, USB 3.0 GoFlex adapter, USB 3.0 cable and all of the pre-loaded software for free. Not a bad price to pay for what you get and you have to keep in mind that nothing is this small!
Seagate told us that down the road they will make another version available for use specifically with Mac OS X computers. The GoFlex Slim for Mac portable drive will be HFS+ formatted out-of-the-box, making it fully compatible with Apple Time Machine backup software, while maintaining the ability to work across both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X computers. To deliver a fresh look that fits seamlessly with today’s Apple product line, the GoFlex Slim for Mac drive will feature a durable, soft-touch, metallic finish, which is also designed to withstand scratches, fingerprints or other marks incurred from travel. The 320GB version of the GoFlex Slim for Mac drive will be made available in May at Apple retail outlets nationwide for the same $99.99 price that the standard drive is available at.
Legit Bottom Line: If you want a fast and very portable USB 3.0 notebook hard drive, the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Slim 320GB drive is the way to go!