Seagate Slim Portable Drive Review

SeagateSlim1
The Seagate Slim lives up to its name, offering a slender portable drive in an attractive chassis.

Seagate Slim Portable Drive: On the plus side

Guess what shape the Seagate Slim is.
Oh, wait, you don’t need to do that, do you, what with me plastering a picture of it on the page. There goes my wacky “Hey, a drive called Slim actually is Slim” gag. Some days as a writer, you just can’t catch a break.
That aside, the Slim fits into the same kind of category as Western Digital’s Passport drives. It’s small, it’s portable, and that’s very much the idea.
It’s a nice looking drive as well, which is arguably a little more important for a portable drive than a desktop model, with fine aluminium finish around its slender casing on the review model; there’s also a plain black variant. It could easily be mistaken for a mobile phone flipped over the wrong way, and it’s tempting to think that there’s an SSD drive within given its physical dimensions, but if you put your ear right up to it, you can hear the drive heads spinning — but only just.

The pen is mightier than... something that isn't a pen at all.
The pen is mightier than… something that isn’t a pen at all.

Seagate provides backup software for regular files as well as social media backup of Flickr and Facebook account details. That’s a plus in my book, because while backup is rather boring, it’s necessary stuff. The review sample I tested also had a number of tutorial videos on board, and while that may be a quirk of the review model, they’re also online, featuring a woman who is way too happy about backup. Somebody needs to cut back on her coffee.

The connector on the Seagate Slim Portable Drive is USB 3.0, which means it’s compatible with older USB 2.0 ports as well. I tested performance with both connections on a Windows 8 PC, because it’s formatted for NTFS. Seagate provides a read-only driver for Macs, but it’d be child’s play to format it as HFS+ if that’s what you want.
[table]
Seagate Slim Portable Drive
Connection,Single large file write test (MB/s),Folder file write test (MB/s),Average Read Test (MB/s)
USB 2.0,28.38,29.34,30.4
USB 3.0,58.54,60.13,93.6
[/table]

Seagate Slim Portable Drive: On the minus side

Being slender has its aesthetic appeal, but it does suggest to me that the mechanical parts of the drive are always going to be only a thin sliver of aluminium away from a bump or knock. I didn’t take a hammer to the Slim drive to find out how it was composed, but it’s worth bearing in mind — the same as with any other “portable” drive — that one of the prices you pay for increased portability is heightened exposure to data-destroying knocks.

Seagate Slim Portable Drive: Pricing

Many portable drives come in various sizes, but not the Seagate Slim, which sells in a 500GB variant only. It’ll set you back around $80-$90, which is reasonable for a portable drive; as always if you want a little more capacity for your storage dollar, less portable hard drives will be cheaper. One noted oddity; at the time of writing Officeworks sells the silver version for $95 but if you can live with the black finish instead, it’s only $87.

Seagate Slim Portable Drive: Alex’s Verdict

For what it offers the Slim’s a very nice drive if you need the portability aspect. If it’s bulk storage you’re after you can do a lot better — I’ve seen up to 2TB of storage for around these kinds of prices — but if you need data on you rather than in the cloud, there’s still space for this kind of portable drive solution.

Author: Alex

Alex Kidman is a multi-award winning Australian technology writer, former editor at Gizmodo, CNET, GameSpot, ZDNet, PC Mag, APC, Finder and as a contributor to the ABC, SMH, AFR, Courier Mail, GadgetGuy, PC & Tech Authority, Atomic and many more. He's been writing professionally since 1998, and his passions include technology, social issues, education, retro gaming and professional wrestling.

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