Seagate today announced its fourth generation of Free Agent drives, with a new approach to docking and cabling.
Unlike traditional external drives, which have a drive module and a bridge board as one unit, the new Free Agent GoFlex drives split these functions, putting the bridge board onto the interchangeable cables - so you can immediately upgrade from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0, FireWire 800 or eSATA as you need.
The GoFlex Ultraportable is the new version of the Free Agent Go. It comes in four colours, with a detachable bridge broad and detachable USB 2.0 cable to slot into it. You can also opt to buy standalone upgrade cables - Seagate's term for a bridge board with fixed cable attached to it - in eSATA ($49), FireWire 800 ($69) or USB 3 ($39). The GoFlex Ultraportable will be available at the end of May in 3 capacities - 320GB ($119), 500GB ($149) and 1TB ($249).
|The GoFlex products are centred around the concept of separating the drive and the bridge used to interface with it.
An Autobackup Upgrade Cable is coming in June - it will backup your PC and external device the moment you plug it in, and will cost $49.
The GoFlex Pro is a faster model, with 7200rpm drive speed. It comes with a dock, unlike the Ultraportable standard model, and has an LED capacity indicator. It comes with Premium backup software - which allows for multiple backup sets, among other features, and like the Ultraportable, comes with a USB 2 connection and bridge broad. The 500GB version will retail at $170, and the 750GB will cost $229.
For desktop computers, the Go Flex Desk, with a USB 2.0 dock, is available in 1TB, 2TB and new 3TB capacities. While there's no eSATA dock, you can buy a USB 3.0 dock for $69, or a FireWire 800 dock for $69.
Seagate says all the portable and desk drives will work for either PC or Mac, straight out of the box.
Seagate has also catered for network drive storage with its new Go Flex Net and Go Flex TV HD.
The Go Flex Net ($129) is a dual docking station with an Ethernet connection, to allow access and sharing via networked PC and and the Internet, as well as exporting files to media sites such as Twitter, FaceBook and MySpace via PogoPlug. A USB ports allows you to plug in additional external drives, but the dock fits two Free Agent Go Flex drives natively.
The Go Flex TV ($189) is an HD media player, featuring Ethernet port, 2 USB ports and HDMI connections. It supports "all major codecs" according to Seagate, and will be avail in June.