Seagate Pushbutton Backup External Hard Drive
Seagate has entered the fray of retail storage products, and among its new offerings is the Pushbutton Backup External Hard Drive. Upon first examination, we were impressed with Seagate's new USB 2.0/FireWire external hard drive--that is, until we tested the drive's performance. The 400GB version we tested was slow with a capital S--falling so far short of the competition that we retested it on several machines to verify the results. Unfortunately, our original numbers were correct, and whether the problem relates to the bridge chip that translates IDE signals to USB and FireWire or whether it was something more subtle, this drive doesn't pass performance muster. If you like the idea of push-button backup, try the .
The Seagate Pushbutton Backup is a boxy 7.125 inches deep by 6.5 inches wide by 2.25 inches high (while lying flat). However, being chunkier than the average external drive has advantages, namely, better shock resistance and air circulation. The Pushbutton Backup drive survived several drops, and it runs very cool. Alas, despite Seagate's claims of ultraquiet performance, the Pushbutton's read/write head made far more noise--in the form of loud clicks--than competing products. Seagate offers three capacities of the Pushbutton Backup drive: 200GB, 300GB, and 400GB.
The medium-silver and dark-gray drive is stackable, thanks to a round footpad on the bottom and a round indentation on the top, and if you need to place the drive in a horizontally constrained location, you can use the included pedestal to orient the drive vertically. The drive has a power switch, two FireWire 400 ports, and a USB 2.0 port on its back panel. The front panel houses a power/activity light and a backup activation button. It also ships with both USB and FireWire cables; many vendors omit the latter.