Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Seagate Portable Office - Free Agent Go! review

Free Agent Go
Seagate FreeAgent Go

This is a portable storage device like no other! This is not just a hard drive, “plug and go-do what you will” solution, but rather a portable datacenter!

The Seagate Free Agent Go combines the best of portable storage, personal preferences, and portability. There are several models with 80Gb, 100Gb and 120 gigabytes of storage. There is also a home solution of 320Gb, 500Gb and 750Gb. The portable product line works on PC’s and MAC’s, however the bundled software called Free Agent Tools is only Windows compliant. Mac users can use the format utility to enjoy the storage space only.

For the musician, this is the answer. Try tracking your band and taking those tracks with you. USB memory sticks just don’t have enough space to be practical. You may even have been forced to dither, or reduce the sample rates, or worse, convert your data to less popular format.

Well, not any more! This has plenty of room to store all your tracks, your plug-ins and license keys. Ok, one last time, best of all – Install your applications right on the Free Agent Go and use them wherever you like! Never forget a plug-in again!

Setting up the Free Agent Go is a snap. It includes a special USB cable, and a to the point instruction booklet and even comes with some friendly hello stickers on the wrappers (a friendly touch). The majority of the installation is the software portion itself. Note that the USB cable is a special type of USB cable, which requires 2 USB ports on the PC. It converts into a small USB connector on the drive chassis. This is also fully USB 2.0 compliant. Drive specs were not available at present time

For those of you that are familiar with the U3 standards in USB memory sticks, the included Free Agent Tools software is very similar. The installation process starts immediately. Initially, there were some program updates which were installed automatically. Included is a software suite called Ceedo, which allows you to import your user profile, your preferences, bookmarks, files, applications and take them with you to another pc. The keys being portability, and security. Ceedo offers a complete suite of applications, games and utilities that can be added to any portable storage device. Once you unplug the drive, all your personal data is removed from the host computer. A desktop in a box essentially.

Seagate’s drive itself is ultra compact, with the front portion illuminated in a dim orange glow. This is a nice touch and quickly lets you know that the drive is powered on and working. Of course, you’d already know that because your computer will detect the usb device upon its connection o the pc, regardless, the orange light is a nice touch. The amber light actually pulses while you are accessing it!

Portable USB memory storage is nice and compact, but it remains expensive. You may get 10 or 20 gb worth of storage but if will cost a lot. Here, we have 120Gb in something in a small package, just slightly larger than a tin of mints. (Actual dimensions are 4.8”x 3.9” x .7”) Also, a great 5 year (limited) warranty!


(US) $80 GB - $109, 100 Gb - $139, 120 Gb $159

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4 out of 5

Bottom line

Portable storage with plenty of features and included software. Secure and convenient. Too bad the USB cable requires 2 ports.