Whether you like it or not, External hard disks one of the most important gadget a travelling photographer needs. There are many brands and are all pretty similar in terms of storage capacity, design of the case and bundled software. With the GoFlex line of products, Seagate has came up with an interesting design for FreeAgent GoFlex, the interface to the computer is swappable now.
Standard external drives used to come with USB or FireWire built into the chassis of the drive. With FreeAgent GoFlex, the chassis connector is replaced by a standard SATA data and power port. Included in the package is an USB to SATA adaptor. Connect the adaptor connector to the drive, and the whole thing looks like a standard external drive with a cable attached.
The benefit of this is the GoFlex drives are upgradeable to higher performance interfaces just by swapping the attachments. We can have one drive with different interfaces such as USB2.0 for the current machines and upgrade to USB 3.0 in the future just by swapping the interface adaptor as and when needed. There are a total of 4 interfaces available, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, eSATA and Firewire 800.
Performance of the standard drive with USB 2.0 is typical of what you would expect from the rest of the market. About 30MB/s data transfer limited by the USB 2.0 interface. I will try out the USB 3.0 interface once I get my hands on a machine that can do USB 3.0.
As you can see from the picture below, the interface connector for the GoFlex drive is just the normal SATA interface. I tried connecting that to a bare 2.5”drive and it also worked flawlessly. So, if you have any spare 2.5”drives laying around, you can turn them into external harddisks too! Really cool feature.
In conclusion, this GoFlex idea by Seagate is something nice and makes the common storage that we use much more versatile. The standard SATA interface that they used for hotplugging the various connectors and other GoFlex docks makes for many expandability opportunities with Seagate or drives from other Vendors. If you are looking for more storage, you should seriously consider this over other competitors.