Seagate Portable 100GB External review

Price when reviewed

The Seagate Portable is the odd one out in this Labs. It’s based around Seagate’s new 100GB Momentus 2.5in hard disk, unlike all the other 3.5in disks in the external drives on test. The capacity may seem small, but the Seagate isn’t aimed at those who want a permanent backup disk on their desk. This is – as the name states – a portable disk built to transport large files around easily.

To this end, the disk is well protected thanks to a sturdy metal case and internal rubber cage. It can be powered by the bundled USB cable, but note that on some systems (particularly notebooks) you may need to use two USB ports to provide enough power. There’s a power socket on the rear, but no PSU is supplied.

Surprisingly, despite its 5,400rpm spindle speed, the disk managed to keep up with its 7,200rpm competitors. This was partly down to the generous 8MB buffer and partly due to the universal limiting factor of its USB 2 interface. We saw an average STR of 26.5MB/sec, which is almost identical to the Seagate 200GB External.

Writing large files was the Seagate’s strength – it managed 23.3MB/sec, making it the second-quickest external disk. It could only manage 2.5MB/sec writing small files, though. Reading large or small files was average at 26.5MB/sec and 8.1MB/sec respectively.

We were also amazed at its quietness, as it barely registered in our sound tests. It may be the most expensive external drive on test in terms of price per GB, but if you need 100GB of storage and great portability this is the best product we’ve seen.

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