Seagate Expansion External Hard Drive Review

As the computing world embraces the new generation of USB (3.0), Seagate has released their hugely anticipated Seagate Expansion 2TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard drive, we were very excited by the first photographs released and the specifications of the drive – Particularly the USB 3.0 capabilities. Extremely exciting stuff, but does the newest Seagate drive  truly live up to the hype? Read below to find out…

Jump to:
– What’s inside the Box
– Design and Build
– Connectivity
– Speed/Benchmarks
– Storage Space
– What other buyers are saying
– Accessories Available
– Conclusion

 

What comes inside the box?

Inside the box you will find everything neatly wrapped in eco-friendly packaging –

1x Seagate Expansion 2TB external desktop hard drive

1 x USB 3.0 cable, 1x quick start manual guide

1x power adapter

one-year warranty card

Design and Build

Seagate is well-known for organic designs, and the Seagate Expansion portable hard drive certainly does not disappoint. With a beautiful almost slanted eye-like profile and curved front, you cannot help but feel obliged to occasionally give the hard drive some love by caressing it gently along its attractive matte black finish top.
The side profile also has a thin and elegant shadow gap that starts approximately one centimetre parallel to the front face and follows the shape of the drive truly elegantly.
On the front face you will find the Seagate logo and a small led light that blinks when there is hard drive activity.

 

Connectivity

On the back of the Seagate Expansion you will find a power input and a USB 3.0 jack. Using this hard drive is very simple on Windows operating systems – You merely plug in the power cord and USB 3.0 lead and off you go, this is thanks to the fact that the hard drive comes pre-setup to use for Windows users. If you want to use the Seagate Expansion on a mac, you only need to reformat it using the Disk Utility in your Mac operating system and voila. If you don’t know how to do this, take a look at the following Seagate page and follow their easy to follow steps: http://consumer.media.seagate.com/2010/01/the-digital-den/how-to-format-a-windows-disk-drive-for-a-mac/

A quick note also for people unfamiliar with USB 3.0 – In order to use the USB 3.0 capabilities, you must have a motherboard that has USB 3.0 ports and ensure you plug your USB 3.0 lead, which is slightly thicker than a standard USB 2.0 cable, into one of these ports. If your motherboard only has USB 2.0, the hard drive will still work perfectly fine, but at 2.0 speeds.

 

Speed/Benchmarks

One of the biggest selling points in this Seagate hard drive is by far its impressive USB 3.0 credentials. If you are planning on using the drive frequently and need to transfer large amounts of data on to the drive often, then we would be very confident to bet that when you found out that this drive was “USB 3.0 compatible” you got as excited as a squirrel. In all fairness, we can’t blame you, we felt the same way. We have daydreamed many-a-times about the possibilities of transferring huge movies at over the acclaimed 10 times faster than the speed of a USB 2.0, our mouths could barely contain the excessive dribbling. After some extensive testing, let us share with you the results:

Transferring a standard 700mb file on a USB 2.0 speed usually happens at a rate of around 20 MB/sec. On the USB 3.0, the maximum speed we managed to achieve was 95 MB/sec. Not quite the “up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0”  Seagate claims, but transferring files 4-5 times faster than USB 2.0 is still a lovely thing to behold. For every five hours transferring files on a USB 2.0, it’ll take you only one hour using this drive – it felt nice to type that, makes me feel like a technology poet.

Storage

How far will 2 terabytes or 2000gb go? We have written up a couple of numbers to help you understand just how big 2 terabytes really are:

Use – Amount:

Digital music – Around 33,500 hours
Digital Photos – Around 650,000 photos
Digital Videos – Around 500 HD movies

Accessories Available

When using a portable hard drive to only back up data, it is imperative to get as many years warranty as possible, so that you can easily replace the hard if anything went wrong, and promptly get your data backup again, every Drive comes with 1-year of warranty, however, if you feel this isn’t enough, we highly recommend you buy a three-year warranty from award winning squaretrade. They are very cheap and you can buy it in a bundle with your hard drive.

If you do not wish to get extended warranty and you are planning to move around a lot with the hard drive, then the next best thing to help you protect your drive would definitely be a protective case. It is highly recommended you purchase a decent case for it though, the one we use and would highly recommend for this drive would definitely be the [amazon asin=B004XVN17G&text=Case Logic Compact Portable Hard Drive case]:

 

Conclusion

Pros

  • Super fast transfer speeds when using USB 3.0 – (We love USB 3.0)
  • Quiet as a mouse.
  • Doesn’t get overly hot after extensive use, as other drives we have experienced.
  • Backwards compatible with USB 2.0.
  • 100% Plug and play, there is no software to install.

Cons

  • No on/off switch
  • Comes with preinstalled software – Easy to delete, but we’ve never been fans of this stuff.
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