n the recent past we've taken an extended hard look at various lightweight USB storage…
Best Seagate 2TB Hard Drive Black Friday Deals 2021
Seagate’s Backup Plus Ultra Touch external hard disks give a quaint touch of class in market rife with uniformly dull, plastic-encased storage devices. This lightweight drive ($89.99 for the 2TB version reviewed here) includes a rare trait in mobile tech: texture. It’s covered with a woven fabric that means it is feel just like a familiar, friendly object in your hand. Plus, you get some good extra satisfaction: It’s simple to password-protect the Ultra Touch, as well as your data gets secured with 256-bit AES hardware encryption. In general, this drive is really worth the amount of money for Windows or Mac users, standing out in a category that’s long reached commodity status.
This HARD DISK DRIVE Dresses Up
First, the touchy-feely. The Ultra Touch’s woven textile enclosure, obtainable in black or white, wraps around the most notable face and one end of the drive’s plastic case, lending somewhat of style and grippability from what would otherwise be yet another drab plastic drive enclosure. The drive I’ve at hand for testing may be the white variety at the 2TB capacity. (Seagate offers a $69.99 1TB capacity. You can aquire either color in either size.)
The fabric wrap aside, the enclosure is solid but lightweight, bearing a bright-white drive-activity LED in the bottom of the chassis’ face, and a Micro-USB Type-B connector along underneath edge. (This drive-side connector may look nonstandard, but replacement cables using this connector are accessible.) The chassis’ edges are soft and rounded, without sharp corners to poke or snag on a shirt pocket or notebook bag compartment. Seagate’s swirl logo lives, unobtrusively, in the low left-hand corner of the case.
As you’ll expect, the drive is small and light, measuring only 0.46 inch thick with a 3.1-by-4.5-inch footprint. It weighs just 5.3 ounces. (That’s nearly the same size as, but 1.7 ounces lighter than, the similar Mobile Drive by LaCie, a 2019 release that I am reviewing alongside this model.)
Despite the fact that the drive enclosure is plastic, the whole lot feels solid and sturdy. It’s inexpensive, however, not cheap. For the fabric coat, it remains to be observed how well it resists scuffing and dirt; you can’t just throw it in the washer/dryer, in the end. One thing to notice: As the fabric includes a pleasing, humanizing feel, I missed everything that much grippier or anti-slip than sheer plastic or metal.
Capacities and Interfaces
Although even the higher-capacity of Seagate’s two Ultra Touch drives is not a storage monster (you can get lightweight drives for this size with 4TB or 5TB mechanisms inside), the 2TB unit I am looking at still gives a good amount of storage for mainstream use. In the end, a 2TB drive can take, say, roughly 4 million 500K photographs or half of a million typical MP3s. For some folks, that is clearly a lifetime’s worth of music and photos, unless they have a tendency to save in lossless music formats or very high-res photography formats.
At an $89.99 MSRP because of this 2TB version, the bottom-line price of storage here’s an attractive 4.5 cents per gigabyte. Sometimes, you’ll see 2TB lightweight drives on sale for $10 or $20 less, so we expect the Ultra Touch to see similar reseller discounting to remain competitive. The 1TB version of the drive is a much lesser value given the $69.99 MSRP and therefore, the higher cost per gig. In the event that you might need the entire 2TB of space, get the entire 2TB.
Indeed, 2TB appears to be the capability sweet spot nowadays for platter-based lightweight drives. That’s good, for the reason that typical utilization case because of this type of device is either media storage (music, photos, or video) or backups, and 2TB is often enough to do the work. Of course, a lot of us use external drives for both, and there’s a good amount of room for the drive to accomplish double duty, unless you’re a significant photographer or videographer.
The Ultra Touch supports USB 3.x over the USB Type-A or USB Type-C connection. The Micro-USB Type-B cable terminates within an ordinary Type-A port, and a Type-A-to-C adapter will come in the box. The drive is, of course, also appropriate for USB 2.0, but transfer speeds will slow way down if you are using among those ports.
By default, the drive comes formatted in the exFAT file system, which is fine for some Windows or Mac installations and permits cross-platform readability. Mac users might need to format the drive in HFS+ if indeed they desire to use Apple’s Time Machine. Plus some Windows users may decide to reformat the drive to NTFS for optimized performance. If you opt to reformat, do not forget to first copy any backup or other utilities to some other drive temporarily, then copy them back again to the Ultra Touch after formatting.
Security and Software
As noted earlier, the marketplace for external lightweight hard disks is saturated. All of the drives you see from major manufacturers have a tendency to perform similarly, they’re all well-crafted, plus they even cost a comparable. Drive makers need different ways to differentiate them.
Given that the unit contain valuable (indeed, sometimes irreplaceable) information and so are small enough to be easily lost or stolen, one good differentiator is to supply a way of measuring easy-to-deploy security. That’s what Seagate did here. Actually, Seagate has provided Backup Plus Ultra Touch buyers with a double measure.
First, the drive could be password-protected. During setup, you will be asked to supply a password. (It’s optional, though.) Be cautious, because after getting designated a password, you will need it to unlock your drive, and in the event that you lose it, Seagate can’t rescue you. You can always reset the drive, in the event that you must, but doing this erases any placed data.