Top critical review
29 people found this helpful
Good drive, shame about the software
on 8 October 2012
The drive is very quiet, fast and, so far, reliable.
On the downside, the supplied USB 3.0 cable is rather short, at just 1.2m, there's no power switch and no activity light. It's unstable when stood vertically, so I stuck rubber pads on one side and laid it flat on my desk. The stepped capacity gauge LEDs only work if you install the Seagate s/w, and I really don't want any more utilities running on my PC. In any case, they only give a rough idea - better to use Explorer and get an accurate number.
If you can live with those shortcomings, I'd recommend the drive.
The supplied Dashboard software is disappointing though, mainly because it doesn't seem to back up open files. There are some niggles too, e.g. no 24-hour option for time format (maybe it's just me, but I hate the US habit of using a 12-hour clock for just about everything - it's about as bad as the illogical US mmddyyyy date format). Oh, and it won't image drives although I believe there's software available from Seagate's website that will do the job.
I'm happy enough with the drive, given the reasonable price for excellent capacity and USB 3.0 performance (see below) with low noise levels. I'd give it a fourth star if it had a longer cable, power switch and activity light, and a fifth if Dashboard backed up open files. As it is, I've reverted to Acronis True Image Home software; EaseUS ToDo Backup is an excellent alternative, if you don't have True Image.
UPDATE Oops - completely forgot to add my performance test results. I can't find a way of adding these in easy-to-read tabular form, so forgive the layout. Bottom line - the Seagate drive is generally 2-3 times faster than my USB 2.1 drive.
I used a Maxtor OneTouch4 1TB USB 2.1 alongside the Seagate Backup Plus 3TB USB 3.0.
With a single 1,483,392 KB file, I saw these results respectively:
Write 56.20 secs (26.4 MB/s) and 28.65 secs (51.8 MB/s)
Read 48.92 secs (30.32 MB/s) and 13.75 secs (107.88 MB/s)
With a batch of 11 files totalling 1,618,546 KB:
Write 73.40 secs (22.05 MB/s)and 40.60 secs (39.87 MB/s)
Read 53.61 secs (30.19 MB/s)and 19.52 secs (82.92 MB/s)
Those are averages of three tests, using a fairly high-spec Win7 Vaio laptop.