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From a design perspective, the Seagate FreeAgent Pro is nearly perfect. The company has turned out a device that looks, dare we say, Apple-esque. Or maybe Orange-esque, the prevailing color that glows and pulsates through the middle of the drive’s tower-like drive holder.
If the FreeAgent’s performance were as noteworthy as the design of this USB-, FireWire-, and eSATA-ready enclosure, we’d have a real winner on our hands. Our model used a 750GB 7200.10 Barracuda drive, and one heckuva clog must exist within the device’s interface, or some hidden quiet-mode feature enabled by default. We were surprised to see only 44.7MB/s average read speeds—on an eSATA connection, no less. The internal version lives in the 66MB/s range, so what gives?
The FreeAgent Pro does little to impress in terms of features as well. Seagate still uses the ever-crappy Memeo AutoBackup application as its primary backup solution, if the name didn’t otherwise give that fact away. Curiously, the drive comes with a system rollback feature. You know, just like that thing that’s bundled with… every modern version of the Windows operating system. And don’t forget the FreeAgent Pro’s Internet Drive–for a mere $120 a year, you can back up 5GB of files online!
If looks were all that mattered, the FreeAgent Pro would be the greatest external drive available today. Too bad poor performance and a lack of features get in the way.
Lit-up display a nice reminder that your drive is on and working; doubles as a sweet night-light.
Average speeds and a mix of crappy free and paid-for features will leave you wanting more.
|Seagate FreeAgent Pro ||eSATA ||USB || Firewire 400 |
|Random Access (ms)||22.4||21.5||21.2 |
|Average Read (MB/s) ||44.7||25.5||41.7 |
| Western Digital My Book Home ||eSATA ||USB || Firewire 400 |
|Burst (MB/s)||97.1||25||42.9 |
|Random Access (ms)||15.7||15.5||17.6 |
|Average Read (MB/s) ||56.6||23.9||34.9 |
|Best scores are bolded in each connection category. All benchmarks taken using HD Tach 184.108.40.206|