Seagate adds Fast, new style, mobile app, and higher capacities to its Backup Plus portable drive

Seagate announces at CES 2014 a new 2TB Backup Plus Slim drive that's thinner than the previous model, and the all-new Backup Plus Fast, the first USB RAID 0 portable drive that offers 4TB of storage space and significantly increased performance.

The new Backup Plus Fast is much thicker than its peers but offers top 4TB storage and much faster speed.
The new Backup Plus Fast is much thicker than its peers but offers top 4TB storage and much faster speed. David Carnoy/CNET

LAS VEGAS -- It's here: the first 4TB portable bus-powered USB 3.0 portable drive. It's the Backup Plus Fast, which Seagate showed off at CES 2014 today.

The new drive is the latest in the Backup Plus family that was first introduced a year and half ago. It shares almost exact the same dimensions as a typical backup drive, with one exception: it's about twice the thickness.

This is because, on the inside, it comes with two 2TB internal hard drives that are blended together in a RAID 0 configuration. This translates into a single volume of 4TB with much faster speed. Seagate says the Backup Plus Fast can deliver up to 220MBps of data transfer speed, rivaling that of even the fastest Thunderbolt drives.

The new Backup Plus Slim from Seagate.
The new Backup Plus Slim from Seagate. David Carnoy/CNET

The use of RAID 0, which is susceptible to total data loss should one of the internal drive dies, however, is a little contrary to the name of the drive, which suggests it be use as a backup device. In reality, with the high storage space, and the assumed fast speed, the new Backup Plus Fast should be used as a primary storage device that houses the data that you're working on, such as when you want to edit video, even 4K video. And when the job is done, you should copy the data to another drive for backup.

Seagate does say, however, that the internal drives used inside the Backup Plus Fast are of high quality, and ensure the liability of the storage device, despite the high-risk RAID 0 configuration. The drive does comes with a three-year warranty, and the company has been offering data protection plans.

Other than the Fast, Seagate today also unveiled the upgrade version of the Backup Plus, now called Backup Plus Slim, which is now thinner and offers up to 2TB of storage space (up from 1TB in previous Backup Plus model). The Slim also drops the swappable adapter design, and instead comes with just one MicroUSB 3.0 port. This helps shrink the size of the drive, and Seagate claims that the Backup Plus Slim is the thinnest 2TB portable drive on the market.

The Seagate Mobile Backup app is available for both Android and iOS devices and is included with any Backup Plus storage device.
The Seagate Mobile Backup app is available for both Android and iOS devices, and is included with any Backup Plus storage device. David Carnoy/CNET

The new Backup Plus Slim and the Backup Plus Fast are both bus-powered, meaning you don't need a separate power adapter to use them. They use the data USB cable to draw power from the USB port of the host. Both of them also comes with useful software, such as the Seagate Dashboard backup software and the all-new mobile Seagate Mobile Backup app. The former offers backups for the local host as well as backing up Facebook and Flickr albums. The latter supports iOS and Android devices and allows for wireless backing up the mobile device's digital content to a drive or to a cloud service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

Both the new Backup Plus and the Backup Plus Fast are available now. The Backup Plus Slim is slated to cost $100, $120, or $180 for 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB, respectively. The 4TB Backup Plus Fast is listed at $300. Check back after CES for their full review.

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