Seagate Slim Review: Fast, Cheap Storage For The Masses

Everyone needs more storage, and you can’t go far wrong with the new line of stylish Seagate Slim hard drives.

What Is It?

An external hard drive made by the folks at Seagate.

You can buy them in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB variants, starting at $98 and going up through to $129 and $178 respectively.

They’re available from Dick Smith, The Good Guys, JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman right now.

What’s Good?

Seagate make a bunch of different hard drives, but only now are they starting to figure out that not everyone really knows what to use one for. That’s why it’s inventing a bunch of different applications for users who want to get started with backup and external storage.

For example, the drive comes pre-loaded with a piece of software that will help you back up pretty much everything you care about that sits outside of your actual PC. You’ll be able to back up all the photos from your social network (in case an asteroid hits Facebook, I guess?) as well as periodic back-ups of your smartphone via an app.

It’s super fast as well thanks to the addition of a USB 3.0 port. Don’t worry if you’re still stuck on USB 2.0, however, it’s backwards compatible as always.

In testing read and write speeds using CrystalDisk Speed test for Windows we found that it performs a sequential write at 117MB/s and a sequential read of 52.17MB/s. It did it a little faster on BlackMagic Disk Speed Test for Mac, nailing a sequential write speed of 105MB/s and a sequential read of 92MB/s.

It’s also packing a great design, reminiscent of the award-winning Toshiba drives we’ve seen recently.

You’re also getting a bunch of storage space you can throw into your pocket, your car or a backpack for sub-$100, and that’s great.

What’s Bad?

Mac users might still struggle with the Seagate Slim. It’s pre-formated to an NTFS file format which is read-only for Mac users thanks to the fact that it’s a Microsoft partition map. Seagate pledge to give you a “driver” to install on your Mac so the drive works, but we found no such thing. We found it easier to just reformat the damn thing into FAT using Disk Utility and use it on both machines.

The Worst Part

I can’t get this graph out of my head.

This is a graph showing the failure rate of hard drives, and that’s why I’m always wary recommending Seagate drives in future.

Having had problems with disk failure myself on several Seagate products, it’s never fun. Just keep that in mind when choosing what to back-up.

Should You Buy It?

For the price and the speed you get? Absolutely. Just be wary about what you’re backing up. Seagate drives have a habit of failing, so keep inconsequential stuff on here to save hard disk space on your laptop or phone rather than volatile stuff like your wedding photos/videos or that single copy of your entire tax history.