The FreeAgent Go is part of Seagate's latest new line of portable hard drives and is by far the thinnest we've tested, and it still maintains a reasonably fast transfer rate. Seagate sent us a blue 320GB model (around £80), but you can take your pick of four vibrant colours in a variety of capacities from 250 up to 500GB. If you need extra storage on-the-go, the Seagate FreeAgent Go will make a useful addition to your daily carry.
The FreeAgent Go really is one of the thinnest mobile hard disks we've reviewed -- the size makes it easy to throw in your bag on the run. It measures 13mm high by 76mm wide by 125mm long and only weighs 159 grams. The multicapacity drives (250GB, 320GB, 500GB) come dressed in silver, black, blue or red, but the blue and red versions are only available in 320GB. We're not sure why, since they use the same cases.
Aside from their slim figure, the shape of the FreeAgent Go looks like many other external drives. The top of the rectangular case has a brushed metal finish that looks sleek and even passed our scratch test with impressive resilience. The bottom is covered with a slightly rough material that prevents the drive from sliding around on a hard surface.
The only hole on the front is a USB 2.0 powered port that connects the drive to your computer. The top of the Go is perforated on one end and a series of white lights underneath illuminate and pulsate underneath while the drive is active. If you leave it plugged in for an extended period, the display will fade slightly. The lights are barely useful and mostly superfluous -- we don't need an arbitrary light to show us activity, but the aesthetic design is a nice touch.
While other drives such as the ship with a long 1-metre USB cord, the Seagate's falls short at less than half a metre long. If you're not lucky enough to have a USB port on the front of your computer, you'll find yourself wishing for an extension cable.
Although the FreeAgent Go takes the prize for the best value as far as we know, its competitors stay ahead in our speed test. Compared with three similar external hard drives, the Seagate FreeAgent Go trailed behind the others by only a few megabytes per second. The differences are negligible, however, and we're confident recommending the drive highly.
The Seagate Web site contains a comprehensive list of forums, knowledge bases, driver downloads, installation help and FAQs to help you troubleshoot your drive, which is all a great help for those who are new to external hard drives. We're impressed with how the Seagate FreeAgent Go combines sleek, thin design with a good transfer rate and, most importantly, a competitive price. Seagate Technology also makes the Seagate FreeAgent Xtreme, which isn't portable but is worth a look for its good price per gigabyte.
Edited by Marian Smith