Seagate GoFlex portable drive gets USB 3.0

Seagate releases a new version of the GoFlex Portable drive that comes standard with USB 3.0 and 1.5TB of storage.

Seagate's new 1.5TB FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-portable has the same design as the rest of the GoFlex family.
Seagate's new 1.5GB FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-portable shares the same design as other in the GoFlex family. Dong Ngo/CNET

Owners of Seagate's FreeAgent GoFlex Pro who've been wishing the portable hard drive came with USB 3.0 rather than merely USB 2.0 just got their wish.

Seagate announced today a new portable drive in its FreeAgent GoFlex family, the 1.5TB GoFlex Ultra-portable. The drive not only comes with USB 3.0 standard but boasts 1.5TB of storage, making it what appears to be the largest single-volume portable external hard drive currently on the market.

The FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-portable come standard with a USB 3.0 adapter, making it the first of of the GoFlex portable family that support USB 3.0 out of the box.
The FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-portable is the first in the GoFlex portable family to support USB 3.0 out of the box. Dong Ngo/CNET

Other than the amount of storage, the new drive has the same superflexible design as the GoFlex Pro, meaning it can be used with any type of connection--be it USB, FireWire, or eSATA--merely by swapping out the adapters.

The GoFlex Ultra-portable comes with a USB 3.0 adapter, while the GoFlex Pro comes with a USB 2.0 adapter. These two adapters, like all GoFlex adapters, can be used interchangeably.

Note, however, that while the GoFlex Pro supports USB 3.0 too, you'll need to buy a separate adapter that costs around $40. Notably, the GoFlex Ultra-portable is the first portable external drive in the GoFlex family to support USB 3.0 out of the box.

According to Seagate, the GoFlex Ultra-portable is a perfect companion to the company's networked media player, the GoFlex TV, as it can store up to 60 high-definition movies. The company even partnered with Paramount Pictures to include 21 movie titles preloaded on the drive. These movies still need to be purchased and activated before they can be viewed using the GoFlex TV or your computer, however.

This practice of preloading movies on external hard drives began on the previous version of Seagate's hard drive, the FreeAgent Go . Each movie costs around $10 to $15 to unlock. Those who don't want to purchase the movies can simply delete them from the "Movies" folder on the hard drive.

The new drive is preformatted using the NTFS file system (Windows), but it comes with a software driver that allows Macs to read and write to NTFS. This is similar to the FreeAgent Pro, which allows the drive to be used between the two platforms without having to use FAT32, which limits the maximum file size to less than 4GB (unsuitable for storing high-def content).

The FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-portable is available now and costs around $250.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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