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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

3TB Seagate drive confirmed, launches GoFlex range

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CNET Editor

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

The Seagate GoFlex Desk. (Credit: Seagate)

Seagate today announced the first 3TB drive, but it's not the Enterprise drive everyone was expecting. Instead, it's popped up in an external drive.

The Seagate GoFlex Desk, along with several other products was announced today, in 1TB, 2TB and 3TB capacities, although the highest capacity likely won't be seen in Australia until July.

The GoFlex external hard drive range features interchangeable adapters that allow you to connect via USB 2.0, 3.0, eSATA or FireWire 800 by snapping a different cable into the drive. The drives come with USB 2.0 by default, and of course every single other adapter is an extra purchase you'll need to make.

These are no ordinary cables though — Seagate has broken out the logic board from the external drive casing and placed it in the cable, meaning its current offerings are simply bare drives, with their SATA and power connectors exposed. The cable then simply clips onto these standard connectors, and the translation is done through the logic board in the cable.

GoFlex plug

Go, Flex! (Credit: Seagate)

For those who just thought "sounds expensive", they'd be right. A USB 2.0 cable comes with the drives, but you can buy an extra one for AU$29. Elsewhere though, it just gets silly — USB 3.0 pushes up to AU$39, FireWire 800 is AU$69, and eSATA is AU$49 on top of the price you've already paid for your drive. If you've bought the GoFlex Desk, then the optional USB 3.0 and FireWire cables will set you back AU$69 a pop. There's even an "auto backup" cable for AU$49 that apparently puts backup in hardware, but we've got no idea how this functions as it wasn't on demonstration.

Adding to the complication, is that while the USB 2.0 cable itself is removable from the logic board component, it's fused together for every other cable, meaning if you somehow damage the cable alone you're up for the cost of a full logic board again.

Of particular note on all Seagate's drives was the inclusion of Paragon's NTFS for Mac, allowing OS X to write to the NTFS formatted drive.

Seagate also pushed out the Pogoplug powered GoFlex Net, allowing you to dock two external drives and share them over your network and the internet, and the GoFlex TV, effectively the next generation of its FreeAgent Theater units. They're priced at AU$129 and AU$159 respectively.

You'll start seeing the GoFlex range pop up in Australia between late May and June.

Name Capacity Rotational speed Colours Price
GoFlex 320GB 5400rpm Silver, black AU$139.99
GoFlex 500GB 5400rpm Silver, black, red, blue AU$139.99
GoFlex 1TB 5400rpm Silver, black AU$249.99
GoFlex Pro 500GB 7200rpm Black AU$169.99
GoFlex Pro 750GB 7200rpm Black AU$229.99
GoFlex Desk 1TB 7200rpm Black AU$159.00
GoFlex Desk 2TB 7200rpm Black AU$249.00
GoFlex Desk 3TB 7200rpm Black AU$479.00

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totoaus posted a comment   

I've been crucifying another IT web site for their constant criticism of products, shallow reporting and inflammatory statements, including for this very product range.
Until this article, I could say I can't recall seen anything like that on CNet. Please do not criticize cost of components or make comments like "it just gets silly." As is clear from prior posts, the readers do it very well and I like my reporters to report and analyze, not judge and opine. You tell me what it does and how it works, I'll decide if it suits me (which you don't know me well enoguh to do).
Now, my thoughts about the product:
1. It'd be nice if I could choose the cable when I buy the drive. I would prefer not to buy a drive and say a firewire cable, giving me an unwanted USB cable.
2. It'd also be nice if I could trade in say, my USB 2 cable when I upgrade my PC to USB 3 so that there are fewer wasted cables on the planet.
Finally, I do think this article is mostly very good. It's clearer than the one I read elsewhere, has a good table of prices, etc.


blaah posted a comment   
New Zealand

what they should do is that they should cut the cost down from the actual drive to lure people into buying it, then trick people into buying the pricey cables


TechGermz posted a comment   

Looking from the other side of the equation, I guess the external drives are simply a regular SATA drive in a plastic case. So, one could simply purchase an Internal SATA drive for cheap (or more realistically, use one of your internal drives), and get one of these expensive connector cables to make them mobile.

Sure to really make it 'mobile', you would need to dream up of an external case that allows you to expose the SATA+power contacts, so you can plug in the connector cables.

I suppose the concept is great, but obviously the price isn't. Cheap Chinese clones and I'm sold.

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