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Seagate Expansion 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive STBX1000101

Review of the 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive STBX1000101 by Seagate.

(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you want a hardcopy)


This drive isn't simply a higher capacity version of the 500 GB model. While it does have twice the capacity, it also has a slightly smaller form factor. This drive ditched the beveled case edges, which probably were just wasted space in its predecessor. I also prefer its blue run light to the green run light on the 500 GB model.

As with its predecessor, it runs completely from the USB port. No need to lug a brick or worry about a power cord. While both of these drives are very light, the 1TB feels about twice as heavy as the 500GB (using the scientifically accurate test of bouncing one's hands up and down while holding them, ha ha). I was going to put them on a scale, but to avoid absurdity didn't do that. Neither one is very noticeable when packed in a computer bag along with everything else.

The USB cable plugs into the back, instead of into the side as with its predecessor. I'm really not sure which way is better. What I don't like about this is it's a proprietary cable. I have scads of cables already, and would prefer to have only one type of USB cable. Perpetual cable management is not one of my life goals.

As with its predecessor, it comes with software on the drive. Having tried various drive software programs before wising up, I never run these. So I can't comment on that software. I didn't delete it to free up disk space, but I doubt it's required to operate the drive. Windows has its own, very powerful, very user friendly file management tool, Windows Explorer. It also has disk management tools. Whether an internal or external drive from Seagate or Western Digital, I have always used the Windows tools and not the ones that come with the drive.

As with its predecessor, this drive is plug and play. That's almost a given, because it's USB though I have found some USB devices to act more like plug and pray. Or maybe prey.

My experience with the predecessor product inclined me to select Seagate for an external backup SATA drive replacement (it's actually an internal drive installed in an external drive box), despite having used WD exclusively for many years. That was a good decision. The Seagate drives are quiet and seem to run cooler than the WD drives.

Both of these USB drives (500GB and 1TB) make not a peep, and seem not to develop any noticeable heat when used for file transfer purposes.

Unlike its predecessor, this 1TB drive is capacious enough to be used as a backup drive. But as it's USB and not SATA, does that use make sense? Yes, especially if you use it as a backup drive for your laptop.


Given that networking computers with Windows 7 is so difficult as to not be worth the effort (or with "up"grading them all to W7), this drive solves file-sharing problems. I use it now to shuttle files between an XP machine and a W7 machine. No more W7 networking headaches!

As with its predecessor, this external drive can serve as a physical repository for files to share among machines. Just a much bigger one. 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 there.

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 head for the airport you can 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 am enjoying the added flexibility and security it allows me to have.



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