The Seagate Slim for Mac ($99.99 list) is a compact portable hard drive that comes pre-formatted for Macs and comes with Mac-oriented software. It has a speedy USB 3.0, so it will work well with your recently purchased Mac. If you’re using a Mac with small (64GB-128GB) Flash storage, then the Slim for Mac can be used as the storage for your iTunes and iPhoto libraries. Otherwise, the drive is a good backup drive for just about any Mac with a 500GB or smaller internal storage.
Design and Features
The Seagate Slim for Mac is a compact external hard drive, measuring only 0.38 by 4.5 by 3 inches (HWD). This means that the drive will fit in most pockets, including the ones in your jeans. Instead of the more common black, the top of the Slim for Mac is matte finish silver. The bottom of the drive is flat black, giving the drive a two-tone appearance that compliments today’s metal Macs. The drive activity LED is on the top, opposite corner from the Seagate logo. The side has a micro-b USB 3.0 port, to connect the included USB cable. The drive only comes with the USB port, it doesn’t have the USM connector found on the Seagate GoFlex Slim (320GB) ($99.99), which has the interchangeable USM connector. This means that the Slim for Mac can’t be connected to a faster Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter ($99.99). In the grand scheme of things, that’s OK, since the Slim for Mac’s drive mechanism won’t be able to fully utilize the Thunderbolt interface anyway.
The Slim for Mac drive comes pre-formatted for HFS+, so it will work with Macs straight out of the box. Notably, you can download a HFS+ driver for Windows from Seagate’s site, so you can transfer files to the drive on your PC as well. Like the Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive for Mac (1TB) ($129.99), the Slim for Mac comes with Seagate’s Dashboard utility, which lets you backup or upload photos to Flickr and Facebook. Dashboard also lets you upload videos to YouTube. This is a prime differentiator compared to competing drives like the G-Technology G-Drive Slim ($109.99), which doesn’t come with extra software. You can of course use the Seagate Slim for Mac as a Time Machine backup drive, which doesn’t use the extra software. The Seagate Slim for Mac comes with a two-year warranty, one year short of the G-Drive Slim’s three years.
The Seagate Slim for Mac runs as quickly as you’d expect for a slim portable drive. It took only 12 seconds to transfer our standard test folder. This is quicker than the 20 seconds it took for the G-Drive Slim, and a second slower than the Seagate Backup Plus for Mac. The Seagate Slim for Mac’s throughput numbers on the AJA System test (107.9 MBps read, 100.9 MBps write) were comparable to the G-Drive Slim (108MBps read, 107MBps write) and the Backup Plus (107MBps read, 90MBps write). Bascially, if you’re using a modern (less than two years old) Mac with USB 3.0, these pocket drives are similarly speedy.
The Seagate Slim for Mac makes a good external bucket for your data, whether you’re using it as a Time Machine backup for your flash-storage-equipped MacBook, or you’re using it as an external drive for your iTunes and media library. The Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive for Mac (1TB) is still a better choice on a GB per dollar basis and because of its compatibility with USM adapters, but the Seagate Slim for Mac is a good choice if you want a more compact drive to carry in your commute bag.
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|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||500 GB|
|Ports||USB, USB 2.0, SATA, USB 3.0|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc