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Seagate announces new FreeAgent external hard drives

Seagate releases its update of FreeAgent external hard drives.

Seagate announced on Monday its fall 2008 lineup of FreeAgent external hard drives, including desktop and laptop models. They come preformatted for either Mac or PC file systems.

Seagate's new FreeAgent Go drives come in different colors and have an optional docking station. Seagate

The laptop models, dubbed FreeAgent Go, come in four colors for PC users--silver, black, red, and blue--and only silver for Mac users. The Mac version, however, features both USB 2.0 and FireWire connections, while the PC version has only USB 2.0. The new drives also feature a docking station for easily connecting to a computer.

The FreeAgent Go drives feature Seagate's latest 2.5-inch 5400RPM internal hard drives that offer storage space up to 500GB. These new FreeAgent Go external hard drives are thin and light--measuring 0.49 inch by 3.15 inches by 5.12 inches (PC version) and 0.69 inch by 3.15 inches by 5.40 inches (Mac version)--and are bus-powered, where they draw power directly from the computer's port.

The desktop models include the FreeAgent Desk drive (Mac) and FreeAgent XTreme drive (PC) that can provide up to 1.5TB of storage. The Mac version offers USB 2.0, FireWire 400, and FireWire 800 connections, while the PC version trade the FireWire 800 for eSATA. The two models are designed to stand either vertically or horizontally and are both made of brushed aluminum. There's another budget version of the FreeAgent Desk (PC) that features only a USB 2.0 connection.

Regardless of what platform the new FreeAgent drives are preformatted, all are compatible with both Mac and PC (though some reformatting might be necessary) and come with Seagate Manager software. The software provides scheduled automated backup and multicomputer synchronization. The drives are compatible with OS X's Time Machine and offer software-based AES-256-bit encryption and Seagate DrivePass password protection for Windows users.

The FreeAgent drives will be available in October with suggested prices ranging from $160 to $350 for the laptop models and from $160 to $300 for the desktop models.