Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whizzz, 26 Oct 2012
This review is from: Seagate Thunderbolt Adapter for GoFlex Portable Hard Drives (Accessory)
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Well, as others have pointed out, the first thing to note is that this does not come with a Thunderbolt cable. Given the price of them, that is perhaps not that surprising.

The second thing to note is that you must pick the right hard disk - it only works with the GoFlex drives. I am using it with a Seagate STBC2000200 2TB GoFlex Desk for Mac FireWire800/USB 2.0 3.5 inch External Hard Drive. The hard disk works fine on its own and has both USB and Firewire connections, but if you want to use a Thunderbolt connection, then you must get this adapter.

I am using it with a MacBook Air (mid 2012). When I first got the adapter out of the box, the first thing I did was plug it into my MacBook Air and then I plugged it into the mains. And it didn't work. After 10 minutes frantically changing power leads, changing plugs and generally getting a bit annoyed, I unplugged it from the MacBook, unplugged it from the mains, plugged it back into the mains, plugged it back into the MacBook - and then it worked. Of course, if I had read the manual, I would have plugged it into the mains first and then plugged it into the machine and avoided that minor panic.

As soon as I plugged it in, Time Machine opened and asked me if I would like to backup my system. So I said yes. And watched as it managed to copy all 65Gb of data in about 25 minutes. Which I thought was pretty impressive.

It comes with a very basic manual, but there is a slightly more detailed and multi-lingual one on the disk. Also on the disk is a copy of the Seagate GoFlex Software. Installing this is straight forward but part of the installation requires registering the product with Seagate. The MacBook must also be restarted to complete the installation. The software is basic and gives you three screens - one to see how much space is left, one to check that the drive is functioning correctly and one to turn on or off the 'Activity Lights'. This last bit doesn't work, as it happens - the option is greyed out. Bit odd - as if you just use the drive without the adapter, then you can access this tick box. Anyway, the lights are a soft and unobtrusive white and are not objectionable.

When you fit the disk, you have to remove the base to reveal the connectors to the adapter. This means that you lose the USB and two Firewire connectors on the disk, but the adapter comes with two Thunderbolt connectors - so you can 'daisy chain' your devices. I was hoping, then, to 'daisy chain' my MacBook Pro (mid 2010) but unfortunately the mini display port on the Pro is not a Thunderbolt port.

The finish of the adapter nicely fits with the hard disk - a rubberised matt black sitting comfortably and firmly on my desk. And the speed - which is kind of the point of the whole thing - is very good I think. The one slight drawback, given that I have a MacBook Air with a Thunderbolt port and a MacBook Pro without, is that if I want to use the hard disk with both machines, I need to remove it from the adapter. Of course, I could use the hard disk without the adapter for both machines as both would plug in to the Firewire ports, but it would have been nice, perhaps, if the adapter also had either a USB or Firewire port to complement the Thunderbolt ports.

Is this the way to go then? Will this make USB and Firewire redundant? I rather doubt that, given the ubiquity of USB, but bearing in mind that Thunderbolt is being promoted by both Apple and Intel, I am quite sure we will see more Thunderbolt devices coming on to the market. And given that more and more people have more and more data to back up, I am sure that Thunderbolt has a future, at least until someone comes up with something even faster. And I believe that Thunderbolt cables are likely to come down in price from next year.
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