SeagateA slew of Seagate drives landed on our desk the other day in the middle of what seems like the hard drive hunting season: after the initial flurry of excitement about increased SSD capacities it looks like hard drives are back in the limelight with new capabilities.



We will be doing in-depth reviews on a number of them such as the Drobo robotic storage system, the Rebit and hopefully also the Seagate BlackArmor.



For now, let’s have a very quick look at what else Seagate offers:



First up, we received the Seagate FreeAgent Pro 500GB as well as its smaller counterpart, the Seagate FreeAgent Go 160GB. Pricing wasn’t supplied with these units but a quick check on the Internet reveals that the PRO 500GB has a price range of $188.74 to $313.09 at 26 Australian stores. The USB connected GO goes for $123.93 to $173.00 at 36 stores.


The Maxtor One Touch 4 came in a 750GB capacity and goes for $222.00 to  $345.20 at 8 stores. As you can see it pays to shop around.


These hard drives come with automated backup features installed which is a great thing as more than half of the people in various surveys do not bother to back up.  We did not test these features, contrary to our normal policy of providing in-depth reviews, for a number of reasons.  Two of the three drives had been used before and there is no telling if other reviewers are as meticulous about deleting their own data after testing as we are.  And, of course, even if your own data has been deleted, it can still be retrieved unless the drives are formatted properly with a technology such as provided by the WiebeTech eRazer. But doing it like that would also effectively erase the extra functionalities of the drive… We would be loath to do that on borrowed drives.


So for security and privacy reasons we opted not to hook up these drives to our test platforms.  One of the drives also did not have an Australian plug.  Not a big deal as I trust the units that are sold here will have the proper Australian adapter plugs.


We will give you the specifications below and also some links to a few reviews that were done earlier by others.  None of these capacities are terribly cutting-edge but they are quite decent drives at reasonable price points.



Maxtor OneTouch 4

Available in:

  • 250 GB
  • 500 GB
  • 750 GB



  • Automated OneTouch™ Backup Back up your files with a push of a button or set up the software to perform automatic backups.
  • USB 2.0 Interface Plug and play.
  • 750GB Capacity. Stores 240,000 digital photos, or 750 hours of digital video, or 12,495 hours of digital music.
  • 7200 RPM, 16 MB cache buffer
  • Easy to Use Interface for drive management and backup scheduling.
  • Simple setup



  • Hard Drive 3.5 inch ATA with ATA 133 interface
  • RPM 7200
  • Cache Buffer 16MB
  • Interface
    • USB 2.0 and 1.1 compliant
  • Sustained Transfer Rate
    • USB 2.0 33MB/sec
  • Bus Transfer Rate
    • USB 2.0 480Mb/sec
  • Dimensions 2.5 x 5.88 x 6.75 in (63.5 x 149.35 x 171.45 mm)
  • Weight 2.2 lbs (1 kg)
  • AC Voltage 100-240 VAC
  • Input Frequency 47-63 Hz AC


Compatibility Mac and PC

PC Requirements

  • Pentium III, 500 MHz equivalent processor or higher 
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, Business 
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home, Professional, Media Center Edition 
  • CD-ROM drive for Maxtor SafetyDrill™ 
  • 256MB RAM or more as required by operating system 
  • Internet connection (for software updates)


Macintosh Requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.4.7 or later
  • 256MB RAM or more as required by operating system
  • Internet connection (for software updates)



  • External hard drive
  • Backup and OneTouch Manager software applications
  • USB 2.0 cable
  • External AC power supply 
  • Quick start guide 
  • Maxtor 5-Year Limited Warranty




Seagate FreeAgent Pro 500GB



  •  Capacity: 500GB
  •  Form factor: 3.5”
  •  Interface: USB 2.0
  •  Spindle Speed: 7200RPM
  •  Cache: 8MB
  •  Warranty: 5-year limited warranty
  •  Weight: 2.0 kg
  •  Dimension: 7.5" tall x 1.6" thin (without 3.2" wide base) x 6.4" deep



Warranty1 Year Manufacturer’s return to base.





Seagate FreeAgent Go 160GB



  • Capacity: 160GB
  • Form factor: 2.5”
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Spindle Speed: 7200RPM
  • Cache: 8MB
  • Warranty: 5-year limited warranty
  • Weight: 1.5 kg
  • Dimension: 17.7 tall x 121.9 wide x 99 mm deep
  • Warranty: 1 Year Manufacturer’s return to base