Seagate Backup Plus Slim review: Fastest and skinniest 2TB portable drive

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is very fast and portable. The drive offers up to 2TB of storage space, includes helpful backup software, and works with both Windows PCs and Macs out of the box.

The Bad The two-year warranty is short and there's no security option to protect the content of the drive against unauthorized access.

The Bottom Line Fast and affordable, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is one of the best deals on the market for those who want lots of storage space on the go.

8.3 Overall
  • Setup and ease of use 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 10.0
  • Service and support 6.0

The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the thinnest portable drive on the market that gives you up to 2TB of storage space.

While it might not hold that title for long, at the current street price of just around $120 for 2TB (or about $70 and $50 for 1TB and 500GB, respectively), it sure is affordable. And in my testing, the new drive proved to be one of the fastest of its type, if not the fastest. On top of that, it includes helpful backup software for your computer, social-media content, and even mobile devices.

On the downside, the drive lacks security features and has only a two-year warranty, which is shorter than you get for many other drives on the market, including those from Seagate. If you can live with that, the new Slim makes an excellent choice. Check out our list of best portable drives for other options.

Like most portable drives, the Backup Plus Slim comes with a standard USB cable.
Like most portable drives, the Backup Plus Slim comes with a standard USB cable. Dong Ngo/CNET

Design
At just 0.4 inch thick, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is about the same size as other recent portable drives on the market, such as the 1TB WD My Passport Slim. However, it's the first thin-profile portable drive with up to 2TB of storage space. (The 2TB My Passport Slim is 0.7 inch thick, so, about 75 percent thicker.)

Like most portable drives, the new Slim is bus-powered. This means it needs only one Micro-USB 3.0 port and comes with a standard USB cable included. This cable will take care of both data and power connections when the drive is connected to a computer's USB port. In my testing, the 2TB version of the Slim worked well with all USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports I tried it with.

The drive has an aluminum casing that makes it feels very solid, though still quite light. It's available in black, blue, silver, and red.

Drive type 2.5-inch external USB hard drive
Connector options USB 3.0, USB 2.0-compatible
Dimensions 4.5 inches by 3 inches by 0.4 inch
Weight 5.6 ounces
Available capacities 2TB, 1TB, 500GB
Review capacity 2TB
Warranty 2 years
OSes supported Microsoft Windows (XP or later), Mac OS 10.4.6 or later
Software included Seagate Dashboard (Mac and Windows)

Features

Out of the box, the drive is formatted in the NTFS file system and works right away with a Windows computer. However, you can download and install an NTFS driver for Mac to make it work with Macs without reformatting. If you want to reformat it into HFS+ to work natively with Macs, you can use an HFS+ driver for Windows to make your Windows computers read and write to the Mac file system.

segateslim-6.jpg
The new Slim is very skinny for a device that offers 2TB of storage space. Dong Ngo/CNET

Like the Backup Plus Fast, the Backup Plus Slim comes preloaded with the new version of the Seagate Dashboard backup software. There are three main backup functions: PC Backup, Mobile Backup, and Social. The PC Backup part is basically the local backup; here you can either customize real-time local backups or let the software, by default, pick what should be backed up for you. After that, the drive will back up continuously when changes have been made to data. In my trials, this function worked very well. Note that this part is available only for Windows. The Mac version of the software has only the other two functions.

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