Review of the
500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive STAX500102 by Seagate.
(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you
want a hardcopy)
Reviewer: Mark Lamendola
This drive is sleek, handsome, light, and--most importantly--fast. I also like
the fact it doesn't require a brick. It runs completely off the USB port power.
That's singular; you're not tying up two USB ports to use this.
It does come with preinstalled software. I didn't test that software, as my
standard operating procedure is to format hard drives and use them as, well,
hard drives. Wipe the drive to get rid of the unwanted junk (typically adware
and TSRs that slow things down). Why companies insist on putting this junk on
drives, I have no idea. It just loads on the user the extra steps of deleting or
reformatting. I don't see this software as a free bonus. I see it as a product
This is plug and play, just as any USB device should be. No install routine or
other headaches to go through. You just have to delete the junkware that comes
with it. I haven't done that yet; I have thus far only tested this as a
removable medium for purposes of this review. It's potentially a very useful
product, but I won't be using it until after "removing the plaque."
I wouldn't use it as a backup drive. At 500GB, it's just too small and it's USB.
My current backup drives are eSATA and 1TB each. Their replacements (not planned
for this year) will be 2TB.
This external drive can serve as a physical repository for files to share among
machines. For example, you can make it your financial files "server" and store
your financial data on it. Then when you are online you don't have this
connected and your financial data can't be hacked into because they aren't
If you're taking a trip and want to bring along a collection of videos, this
drive is an ideal solution. I often bring a collection of funny vids to share
when visiting relatives. I've thought it would be nice to have those somewhere
other than on my laptop drive. With this, that's easily doable.
Another good use for this drive is to put your sensitive data on it. Let's say
you're traveling and you carry financial data, contacts, or proprietary info for
the purpose of the trip. You want your laptop so you can check e-mail and do
some browsing. Your laptop is a theft target (and TSA destroyed the last laptop
I took through the airport mauling system). If someone steals your laptop, they
won't get the sensitive data.
Laptop drives are a bit fragile and can easily lose data. So, before you take
the airport shuttle back up your e-mails and other data on this drive and put it
in your luggage. Or, better yet, ship it to yourself rather than risk a luggage
loss being a data loss. Really a good solution if you have important files
resulting from a business meeting.
I'm very happy with this product and plan to enjoy the added flexibility and
security it allows me to have.