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Seagate GoFlex Turbo review: Seagate GoFlex Turbo

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Unlike the GoFlex Ultra-portable, the GoFlex Turbo doesn't come preloaded with movies. We believe, however, that consumers won't miss this, as most of these movies require extra payment to be viewable. The drive does come with full versions of Memeo Instant Backup and Memeo Backup Premium for home users. Unfortunately, we found the software rather intrusive and unhelpful. For example, in order to use it at all, you're required to register for an account with Memeo, regardless of whether you want to use its online backup service or not. After that, each time the software runs, you're greeted with services that you'd have to pay extra to use. As local backup software, we generally find Memeo to be bloated and unintuitive. While it works as intended, we'd recommend using simpler backup software if you're using the drive with Windows, even the Backup and Restore tool available in Windows 7. For Mac users, it's best to use the GoFlex Turbo with Time Machine. If you want an easy backup system, we'd also recommend the recently reviewed Clickfree C6.

Since the GoFlex Turbo is equipped with an internal drive that spins at 7,200rpm, we expected an increase in performance compared with the previous models that are based on 5,400rpm internal drives. And, in our testing, the Turbo was indeed faster than its predecessors. When compared with drives from different vendors, however, its write speed, though fast, could use some improvement.

When used with USB 3.0, the drive offered a sustained real-world write speed of 80.3MBps, noticeably faster than the GoFlex Ultra-portable's 78.8MBps, but slower than the Clickfree C6's 87.7MBps or the Hitachi Touro's 86.2MBps. In reading, the Turbo did much better at 109.5MBps, being the second-fastest on our chart of tested portable drives, just behind the 115.5MBps of the LaCie FastKey, which has an unfair advantage as it's based on a solid-state drive.

When used with USB 2.0, which is still the most popular cross-platform connection type, the GoFlex Turbo did much worse, with 27.1MBps and 32.8MBps for writing and reading, respectively, landing at a low-average position on the charts.

All and all, the GoFlex Turbo's performance was very good. While it's not the fastest portable drive we've seen, we believe most users won't be disappointed with its throughput speed.

USB 3.0 external hard-drive performance (in MBps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

USB 2.0 external hard-drive performance (in MBps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Clickfree C2N
Seagate GoFlex Slim
LaCie FastKey
IoSafe SoloPro
LaCie Minimus USB 3.0
Clickfree C6
Segate GoFlex Turbo
Seagate GoFlex Satellite

Service and support
Seagate backs the GoFlex Turbo with a two-year warranty, which is one year shorter than it offers for the GoFlex Pro. To make up for this the company includes with the drive its SafetyNet Data Recovery Service, which covers one data recovery attempt for free during the warranty. Seagate's Web site contains a comprehensive list of forums, knowledge bases, driver downloads, installation help, and FAQs to help you troubleshoot your drive. The company's technical support is also available via live chat, e-mail, and phone from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT weekdays.

As usual with Seagate's GoFlex portable drives, we loved the GoFlex Turbo for its compact and flexible design. The drive also offers very good performance and will make most, if not all, users happy. Its current prices, however, need to be lowered, which they will likely be, and a better backup software application is needed for the drive to offer similar value to the rest of its peers.

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