Seagate announced a handful of new products at CES 2015 and let it be known that this year will be the company’s 35th year in the storage business. Among the new products being announced was the Seagate Seven, which true to its name is a 7mm thick portable external drive. That makes it thinner than an iPhone 6 Plus and give it the title of being the World’s thinnest 500GB portable hard drive! Seagate set out to make an ultra-thin premium 500GB portable drive that was made entirely of steel that had the overall appearance of a bare hard drive. If you hate plastic portable drive enclosures and are looking for something as thin as possible, the Seagate Seven was designed for you. The only downside to the Seagate Seven (model STDZ500400) is the premium price tag that it carries, which is currently $96.24 shipped from Amazon.
From what we gather the Seagate Seven uses the Seagate Laptop Ultrathin 500GB HDD (single-platter, 5400 RPM drive with 16MB of cache/buffer) that is just 5mm thick and then the steel enclosure adds a total of 2mm of thickness to the Seagate Seven to give it the stiffness and durability that is needed for a portable drive housing. The Seagate Laptop Ultrathin HDD 500GB drive part number that is in our enclosure is ST500LT032, which runs $83.34 shipped on Amazon this very second. That makes us feel better about the $96.24 price tag as for an additional $13 you are getting the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 steel housing and the USB 3.0 data cable! If that is too much you can always cut the price in half by going with the thicker and less sexy Seagate Expansion 500GB Portable External Hard Drive that uses USB 3.0 and is only $48.99 shipped!
Inside the Seagate Seven retail packaging you’ll find the portable external drive in a plastic sleeve to keep it from getting scratched during shipping, a very nice fabric braided USB 3.0 cable that is 12-inches in length and a basic setup pamphlet that will help you get up and running should you need any assistance.
The Seagate Seven was clearly designed to be thin with minimalist features. On the front of the stainless steel enclosure you’ll find nothing of interest besides the a branding logo with some basic information that was laser etched onto the surface of the drive and a blue LED activity light. It should be noted that you can enable and disable this light in the Seagate Dashboard software utility. The overall shape of the external portable drive is that of a traditional notebook hard drive that has been smoothed out a bit, so the shape should be familiar to anyone that has ever held a traditional hard drive.
On the back of the drive you’ll find some of the markings required in various parts of the world for legal reasons and then things like the serial number and part number. The Seagate Seven 500GB drive that we are looking at today weighs in at 6.3 ounces and measures in at 122.5mm x 82mm x 7.0mm (L x W x H). This measurements make this the thinnest 500GB portable hard drive ever made. The matte finish on the stainless steel keeps finger prints and smudges from being seen as badly as those on high-gloss finish drives.
Along the bottom edge of the drive you’ll find the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connector that is used for both powering the drive and data throughput. Since all the power is drawn through the USB 3.0 cable there is no need to carry around a wall power adapter or two USB cables. The Seagate Seven is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports in the event that you need to use the Seven on an older system.
Let’s take a quick look at the Seagate Dashboard utility and then run a couple quick benchmarks!