Seagate BackUp Plus Slim review: Old tech, new tricks

Seagate BackUp Plus Slim
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Fast speeds
  • Value-adds

Cons

  • Heavier than SSD
  • Boring design
  • No Thunderbolt

Bottom Line

It might not suit power users but if you’re after a good portable storage option that provides plenty of capacity per dollar, the Seagate BackUp Plus Slim makes a strong case for itself.

Would you buy this?

The Pitch

The biggest threat to old-school hard-drives like Seagate’s BackUp Plus Slim might be the idea that they’re out of date. SSD solutions like Samsung’s T5 or Seagate’s own Fast SSD have better tech inside them but where the nuts, bolts and technologies involved are constantly changing, the actual requirements of what you need a good storage product to do haven’t.

It needs to fit in your bag, it needs to not break in your bag, it needs to transfer files back and forth with a degree of speed and it needs to provide a decent amount of bang for your buck when it comes to capacity.

And cast in that light, the Seagate BackUp Plus Slim stands as a simple, unassuming option that promises to get the job done. It’s priced well, performs decently and, unless you’re in need of something more durable or weatherproofed, it’s probably good to handle whatever you throw at it.

Specs

Storage: 1TB / 2TB

Weight: 1.26g

Dimensions: 11.7 mm x 114.8 mm x 78 mm

Durability Features: N/A

Ports: USB 3.0

Pack Ins: 46cm USB cable, Downloadable Toolkit Backup Software, 1-year Mylio Create plan, 2-month membership for Adobe Creative Cloud Photography

Color: Black / Silver / Light Blue

Price: $99 / $139

Available from: Amazon, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey-Norman,

Design

This year’s Seagate BackUp Plus Slim hard drives aren’t a major departure from what’s some before. Sure, the Seagate logo has migrated from the bottom-right corner to the top-right one. But in terms of external form-factor, there aren’t many notable changes here.

This thing looks like a portable hard drive. That’s not a crime but it’s not really all that exciting either. Our review sample did come in a sharp shade of red but that’s all we could really say about it. It doesn't even have Thunderbolt support.

There’s only a single port to be counted here: Micro-B. Discounting any dongles, this is what you’ll be using to connect the BackUp Plus slim to your PC or Mac. The BackUp Plus Slim comes with both a USB and USB-C cable in the box. And, like many Seagate hard drives, the BackUp Plus Slim does come with a handful of perks.

“Buy me”, it says, “and you’ll get a free two month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.”

“And if that’s not enough, you’ll also get a free one-year subscription to MYLIO,” it quickly adds, eager to secure the dollars of creative professionals in need of an extra terabyte.

Credit: Seagate

This front-loading is a pretty familiar tactic to Seagate. Most of their hard-drives include similar offers and the conclusions we drew here weren’t radically different to what they usually are. Either you’re the kind of person who gets direct value from these pack-ins or you are the kind of person who probably gets no value from them. It’s a good hook but it is inevitably - by nature - a little hit and miss.

Performance

In terms of overall performance, we weren’t at all disappointed with the Seagate Backup Plus Slim. More than that, we were thrilled.

Despite relying on traditional hard-drive architecture over solid-state, it actually outperformed our Samsung T5 SSD out of the box. Though a solid part of this is probably down to degradation (we’ve been using our T5 regularly for well over a year), it’s still an impressive feat and one that sets the stage nicely.

Pulling a 35GB folder full of various file-types down from the Seagate to my desktop over USB 3.0 took about 16 minutes and 36 seconds. Accomplishing the same task on the Samsung T5 SSD took 20 minutes and 55 seconds.

Credit: Seagate

When it came to pulling that 35GB folder back onto the Seagate Backup Plus Slim, the process took about 4 minutes and 22 seconds. In term of speed here, we averaged about 125Mbps. This was much faster than our  Samsung T5 - which seems to be growing slower in its old age. It took 15 minutes and 13 seconds to achieve the same task.

The Bottom Line

Although, in terms of technology, the BackUp Plus Slim can sometimes feel a little quaint and outdated - the utility it provides isn’t. The form-factor here doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel but the performance gets the job done regardless.

It might not suit power users but if you’re after a good portable storage option that provides plenty of capacity per dollar, the Seagate BackUp Plus Slim makes a strong case for itself.

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