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Seagate Launch Portable Storage Technology With Interface Cables

The portable drives come in assorted capacities and colours.

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While Australian pricing has not been disclosed the US pricing is ($100 for 320GB in silver or black; $130 for 500GB in silver, black, red, or blue; $170 for 750GB in silver or black; and $190 for 1TB in silver or black).

Currently 1TB Western Digital drives are being sold in Officeworks for $95. 

Seagate said that they have  re-engineered the devices to separate the drive from the bridge board that translates the drive’s native SATA to another interface connection. As a result, Seagate is now offeing  a variety of cable modules for use with a single drive.

The company said that one benefit of the new system is that users won’t run into power issues if they use the drive with an ultra-portable laptop (sometimes, multi-interface drives require more power than the USB ports on such notebooks output). They also claim that the new design lowers the drive’s costs, as you’ll pay only for the connectors you need. The connectors range from US$30 to $80. The new system also means that you not only need to carry the drive around but additional cables, which is annoying at the best of times.

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Called Free Agent GoFlex, the new drives include both portable and desktop versions. Included is array of interchangeable cables and desktop adapters that allow each drive to adapt to the interface or device being used.

Seagate claim that the GoFlex hard disk drives are specifically designed to deliver improved interoperability between operating systems in order to work with both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X computers, say Seagate.

Each attachment will be sold separately, but the idea is not unlike the strategy offered by Apple for iPhones, iPads and iPods that connect to various different docks to connect to stereo systems, GPS devices and car stereos.

Seagate said it hopes the GoFlex connectors will catch on enough that other companies will want to design their own types of attachments for various uses, such as connecting directly into a computer instead of through a cord.

They claim that GoFlex interface cables are about providing the speed, performance and connectivity people need to support their interaction with their digital content. The explosive growth of video capture and multimedia collecting is expanding personal digital libraries to terabytes worth of content within the home,” said Dave Mosley, Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Product Line Management at Seagate.

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“These trends are driving demand for high-capacity, high-performance storage. The GoFlex storage products meet this need by delivering USB 2.0 storage and backup devices that can adapt as interface technology advances by using the various GoFlex cables and accessories to access content stored on the same drive.” 

They say that the cable system enables the GoFlex and GoFlex Pro ultra-portable USB 2.0 drives to be upgraded to USB 3.0, eSATA or FireWire 800 connections simply by switching out the cable adapter they also claim that GoFlex upgrade cable transforms the drive into a continuous full-system backup.

Pricing for Australia has not been disclosed.