Seagate FreeAgent Desk

Sleek and cheap.

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Seagate FreeAgent Desk
  • Seagate FreeAgent Desk
  • Seagate FreeAgent Desk
  • Seagate FreeAgent Desk
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Very cost-effective, stylish, fast hard drive, simple and useful software

Cons

  • Only has a USB 2.0 port

Bottom Line

If you are happy with an external storage device that can only use USB 2.0 ports, then the Seagate FreeAgent Desk is a fantastically cost-effective unit that looks great and runs fast.

Would you buy this?

The Seagate FreeAgent Desk (ST310005FDA2E1-RK) is a simple, fast and cost-effective 1TB external hard drive that looks great and connects using a USB 2.0 port.

The FreeAgent Desk's price tag of $299 and formatted capacity of 931GB means that the cost per gigabyte is 32.1 cents. This is an exceptionally competitive price that is better than the Western Digital My Book Office Edition (1TB) and the My Book Essential Edition.

Not only is it cheaper than the Western Digital drives, it's also more attractive. With a slim body, tapered front and gun-metal grey panels, the FreeAgent Desk looks more like a slice of aircraft wing than an external storage device. As was the case with the Seagate FreeAgent Go, the logo functions as a power and status indicator.

The logo light, idling and encryption settings can all be changed using the Seagate Manager software bundled with the drive. Users can also use the program to organise automatic backups, file synchronisation and data encryption.

We tested the Desk by transferring a folder with 20GB of files between it and a PC using a 7200rpm Seagate Barracuda ES2. The Desk managed to average 30.6 megabytes per second in our read test, 27.19MBps in our write test and reached 15.14MBps in our copy/transfer benchmark. These excellent speeds can be attributed to the unit's drive, which spins at 7200rpm.

The USB 2.0 port is the only available connection on the FreeAgent Desk. But given the competitive price tag the lack of a FireWire or an eSATA port isn't a big issue.

The FreeAgent Desk weighs 1kg without the power supply and 1.1kg with it included, making it too heavy to comfortably travel around with. But as its name suggests, the Desk is not intended to be lugged around much.

The product comes with four small rubber feet and a small plastic stand to either sit the unit on its base or side, but the stand doesn't provide enough stability for the drive, which easily falls over if knocked slightly.

If you're looking for a fast, uncomplicated and good-looking external storage device, this is one of the best and cheapest on the market.

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