Seagate ships pencil-thick GoFlex Slim external hard drive

By on April 5, 2011, 5:08 PM
Although it may be handy to have your data with you throughout the day, most external hard drives are too encumbering to haul around. Hoping to lighten the burden, Seagate has launched its new GoFlex Slim Performance Drive, which offers 320GB of storage space in a form factor that is roughly as thick as a pencil.

The GoFlex Slim weighs 0.356lbs (160g) and measures 4.91 x 3.07 x 0.354in (124 x 78 x 9mm). That's pretty impressive when you consider most 2.5-inch notebook hard drives are 9.5mm thick without an enclosure. Being only a bit larger than today's smartphones, the drive should be easy enough to slip into a jacket pocket.


Seagate has opted for a spindle speed of 7200RPM instead of 5400RPM and the GoFlex Slim uses USB 3.0 for both data and power. We haven't seen any official throughput figures, but Engadget reports that the drive reached upwards of 40MB/s during an in-house transfer test, which isn't too bad all things considered.

The GoFlex Slim is currently available online for $100 and comes with backup and encryption software as well as a three-year warranty. Although it's preloaded with an NTFS driver for Macs, you'll have to reformat the drive to HFS+ to use it with Time Machine. An HFS+ version will hit Apple stores sometime next month.



User Comments: 15

Got something to say? Post a comment
Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

With all these clouds these days who needs it... haha. nah, im just kidding...

its easy enough for me to just grab a 2.5" HDD or SDD and carry that around in my pocket, but for lesser tech users this sounds like a sound product, sound.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Does this even have the standard 2.5" HDD in it? ...almost seems too thin. Sorry if I missed that in the article... skimmed.

Lurker101 said:

Completely ignoring the novelty of the size, who in their right mind would pay $100 for a 320GB external HDD when you can pick up a 1TB external HDD for around $60? The size is a novelty factor that doesn't really have a real world use.

Win7Dev said:

Umm... I kind of agree, why would I pay $100 for that when they already have flash drives and cloud storage. I would rather pay a company $100 a year for cloud storage that is almost unlimited vs. a 320gb drive that will probably only last a few years or less.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Again, the fatal flaw with cloud storage is that it requires internet access and time to download the files. Not particularly a problem with smaller files, but with video or other large files this can be a pain. It also requires the service to be up and available; while uptimes are quite high, there is still a chance of downtime for server maintenance, power/hardware failure, etc. I will agree with the issue with price, $100 is a lot to ask for a 320GB external with USB 2 performance, even if the crazy small size is really cool.

If someone made a 3.5" enclosure with a custom single 1TB platter drive, it was also be crazy thin and that I think would be much more useful at a similar price.

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

trillionsin said:

Does this even have the standard 2.5" HDD in it? ...almost seems too thin.

It would be possible to fit a standard 2,5'' HDD in this "enclosure," although it would seem more appropriate simply building a HDD, with the components fitted inside the enclosure without having another shell - i.e. the hard disk drive's original casing.

Plausible one might say.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Lurker101 said:

Completely ignoring the novelty of the size, who in their right mind would pay $100 for a 320GB external HDD when you can pick up a 1TB external HDD for around $60? The size is a novelty factor that doesn't really have a real world use.

Such narrow vision! I strongly disagree.

At $60, I know you're talking about some 3.5" monstrosity with a big 'ol wall wart... Such a device is AC powered so that's a non-starter for anyone looking for portability whatsoever. The 3.5" drives in those AC powered externals are heavy and bulky, not to mention the same for the power adapters... no thanks!

Additionally, 320GB is more than enough for the median person. Maybe not for you and me, but plenty of people in their 'right mind' would gladly spend $40 for this.

Where this DOES fail is if you move into the $90 range. There are 1TB solutions that are based on 2.5" drives. Sure, they are a little chubby, but they are USB powered and still fairly compact. You're not going to find those for $60 though...

Win7Dev:

I would rather pay a company $100 a year for cloud storage that is almost unlimited vs. a 320gb drive that will probably only last a few years or less.

And if you had to format and restore 200GB of data, it would take about two days to restore your data over a 10Mbps connection at 100%... Have fun with that! ;-) Not to mention 'cloud' backups can't provide system recovery or bare metal restores.

Online backups are great for people who only care about a few word docs and a handful of photos, but as madboyv1 pointed out, videos/media (and many other things) is a whole other story. Despite the limitations, they make a great supplement to an existing backup strategy -- I just wouldn't want to depend on it in a pinch.

madboyv1:

If someone made a 3.5" enclosure with a custom single 1TB platter drive, it was also be crazy thin and that I think would be much more useful at a similar price.

A crazy thin 3.5" would be nice, but again.. 12v and more than 5w to run. It can't be USB powered and that kind of sucks for mobility.

To recap... The reason people will pay $100 for this is:

1.) Portability (USB powered, thin and light)

2.) 320GB will meet most people's storage needs

3.) A $90 1TB 2.5" is a more cost-effective (if chubbier) substitute, but if 320GB is good enough and you like the portability... why not?

Guest said:

I guess you people never travel, that's why you'd use this. In any case My Passport drives have been out for years, so this is nothing new. The rpm and usb3 yes, but not the form factor

Lurker101 said:

Rick said:

At $60, I know you're talking about some 3.5" monstrosity with a big 'ol wall wart... Such a device is AC powered so that's a non-starter for anyone looking for portability whatsoever. The 3.5" drives in those AC powered externals are heavy and bulky, not to mention the same for the power adapters... no thanks!

There's quite a lot of slim, portable, USB powered external HDDs with much higher capacity for half the cost of this novelty crap. Just quickly Googling 'external HDDs' can show you the vast scale of just how wrong you are. If 1TB is too much, you can find some pretty good 500GB externals for $40.

Rick said:

Additionally, 320GB is more than enough for the median person. Maybe not for you and me, but plenty of people in their 'right mind' would gladly spend $40 for this.

That is a brilliant point. Just a shame it costs $100, and not $40.

Where this DOES fail is if you move into the $90 range. There are 1TB solutions that are based on 2.5" drives. Sure, they are a little chubby, but they are USB powered and still fairly compact. You're not going to find those for $60 though...

Rick said:

To recap... The reason people will pay $100 for this is:

1.) Portability (USB powered, thin and light)

2.) 320GB will meet most people's storage needs

3.) A $90 1TB 2.5" is a more cost-effective (if chubbier) substitute, but if 320GB is good enough and you like the portability... why not?

1.) That's nothing new. You can get a vast array of externals for a fraction of the price, still USB powered if you don't mind them being around half an inch thicker, which isn't exactly a huge problem.

2.) 320GB probably will meet most peoples storage needs, but at $100 for 320GB, anyone with an ounce of common sense will look elsewhere.

3.) It's still a worthless, overpriced novelty.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Right, Bus powered. herp a derp. Don't usually make that kind of brain fart. Possibly still the honeymoon over the news of 1TB density platters last month. =p

Incidentally, Hitachi has a 7mm 500GB single platter drive (could probably do a 1TB double platter in 9.5mm) that barring any product gouging should be out soon. I know Seagate =/= Hitatchi (which will eventually become Western Digital much to my chagrin) but I guess Seagate is still stuck with 320/333GB platters.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Umm... I kind of agree, why would I pay $100 for that when they already have flash drives and cloud storage. I would rather pay a company $100 a year for cloud storage that is almost unlimited vs. a 320gb drive that will probably only last a few years or less.
Well let's see; If you pay $100.00 a year for "cloud storage" for "several years", let's say "4", (does "4" agree with your concept of several)? Then, you will have paid 4 times the amout you would have for the external HDD. Plus, you pump all your business into public domain.

Face it, even the brightest cyber criminals can't steal data from you while it's in your pocket.

For more expansive needs, might I suggest Blu-Ray?

Lurker101 said:

To add to crankys post, currently, if law enforcement agencies wish to look at data on your computer, or any external device, they need a search warrant. If that information is tucked away in cloud storage, they can look whenever they want, without telling anyone anything.

Now I'm not doing anything illegal, but even I don't like the idea of someone being able to look at my data whenever they want, without me even knowing about it.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Lurker101 said:

There's quite a lot of slim, portable, USB powered external HDDs with much higher capacity for half the cost of this novelty crap. Just quickly Googling 'external HDDs' can show you the vast scale of just how wrong you are. If 1TB is too much, you can find some pretty good 500GB externals for $40.

Right, but that wasn't your example nor was that specifically your point. A $60, 1TB drive was your counter example and my reply is based upon that.

Rick said:

Additionally, 320GB is more than enough for the median person. Maybe not for you and me, but plenty of people in their 'right mind' would gladly spend $40 for this.

That is a brilliant point. Just a shame it costs $100, and not $40.

$40 *more* for this. I left out a word so that definitely wasn't clear. "this" = compact size. Some people value that (not yourself). And again, that was in context to your $60 1TB counterexample.

1.) That's nothing new. You can get a vast array of externals for a fraction of the price, still USB powered if you don't mind them being around half an inch thicker, which isn't exactly a huge problem.

2.) 320GB probably will meet most peoples storage needs, but at $100 for 320GB, anyone with an ounce of common sense will look elsewhere.

3.) It's still a worthless, overpriced novelty.

1.) Not your original point, but a valid one still. From my own perspective, I agree.

2.) Calling everyone who values the small size of this drive an "*****" is a troll-like, blanket statement with zero perspective.

3.) I would agree with you that is a "novelty" when compared against a traditional 2.5" external.

pcnthuziast said:

I skipped the article and dove straight into reading the highly entertaining debate in the comments. lol

pmshah said:

What is so special about the size of this disk ? I have had a 640 GB USB 2.0 GoFlex which is less than 10 mm thick for more than a year now. I feel sorry I did not pick up the 1 TB version of the same at Costco for US$ 100/= last July when I had the chance !

I recently came across a 500 GB GoFlex USB 2.0 - upgradable to USB 3.0 When you unplug the USB 2.0 adapter you can see the data and power connectors (for sata) of the hard disk within the external plastic casing. I have installed the very same basic 5400 rpm 500 GB Seagate hard disk in my HornetTek Phantom media player which cost me US$ 55/= with a 5 year warranty ! This I believe is no mre than 6-7 mm thick !

So If I just go out and buy the USB 3 adapter from Seagate for this particular drive or something similar I can use it with any plain 2.5" sata hard drive !

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.