CES is just kicking off in earnest tonight in Vegas, and Seagate's wasting no time in dishing out a smattering of new releases. Up first is the outfit's slimmest external drive yet: the new, ultrathin GoFlex HDD, which holds a 2.5-inch drive within, but measures just 9mm thick -- that's 38 percent slimmer than the existing GoFlex drive. At least initially, it'll only be offered in a 320GB model, and the USB 3.0 port ensures that it'll run laps around your older USB 2.0 model. Mum's the word on pricing, but you can expect it to ship out this spring. Moving on, there's a new raft of GoFlex for Mac external drives, which arrive HFS+ formatted and ready to play nice with Time Machine. Each one ships with FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 adapters, but allow for USB 3.0 or eSATA to be used with Windows PCs. The GoFlex for Mac houses a 2.5-inch HDD and will sell for $199.99 (1TB) / $249.99 (1.5TB), while the limited edition of that very product will only be available in a 1TB ($199.99) version. There's also a GoFlex Pro for Mac, housing a 7200RPM 2.5-inch HDD and costing $149.99 (500GB) or $179.99 (750GB). Wrapping up this collection, there's a GoFlex for Mac drive that'll go for $219.99 (2TB) or $279.99 (2TB).

Lastly, and potentially more importantly, Seagate is finally opening up the GoFlex standard that it has been pushing so vigorously of late. As of now, the only products that support the GoFlex platform -- which allows various connectors to be attached to your existing HDDs -- are Seagate-branded. But today, Seagate's revealing a Certified GoFlex Storage System that'll enable third-party vendors to make wares that are also welcome in the family. Here at CES, the company is planning to showcase a line of prototype concept devices, and while we've yet to see what exactly those are, we are told that the certification also endorses the soon to be established SATA-IO Universal Storage Module (USM) specification. Better still, a number of other companies (Antec, GIEC, Hi-Sense, Ionics and Thermaltake) are planning to showcase GoFlex-approved gear here at the show, including a TV, a laptop, desktop PC, "plug computer," DVR and docking station. Needless to say, the possibilities here are near-endless, and we're definitely looking forward to see just how many odd places a GoFlex adapter ends up.

Update: We just got a look at what the SATA-IO USM modules slots might look built into the likes of a ThermalTake case -- spot them immediately below!

Seagate GoFlex CES 2011 hard drive launches

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SATA I/O Universal Storage Module at CES 2011

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SHOWCASING ITS SLIMMEST DRIVE YET AT CES 2011

The continued growth of personal digital media stores, our increasingly mobile lifestyles and proliferation of mobile consumption devices are driving the demand for slimmer, more portable storage solutions. Netbooks and mini-computers are great at consumption, but limited when it comes to creation or accessing and storing high-definition content. The new thin GoFlex is a super-slim, 2.5-inch external hard drive designed for portable, entry-level laptops and netbooks.

At a razor-thin 9mm-38 percent slimmer than the current GoFlex ultra-portable drives-the new thin GoFlex fits easily in a pocket, purse, briefcase or backpack, allowing consumers to carry, access and enjoy their favorite digital content with them wherever they go. At official launch the product will be available in 320GB capacity, and is equipped with a USB3.0 interface to accelerate transfer speeds up to 10x faster over USB2.0, this prototype drive delivers quick access to large, multi-media files such as HD movies and video games. This thinner GoFlex also allows consumers to save, access and share files with either Windows or Mac OS X systems or devices, while maintaining cross-platform interoperability, making it the perfect storage enhancement to every mobile lifestyle.

The thin GoFlex 9mm drive packages style, mobility and performance, making it perfect for customers who desire cutting-edge technology with a fresh, cool look.. Its ultra-slim, black, brushed aluminum enclosure with tuxedo black lining make a swanky accoutrement to any home or office environment, while still looking chic on the go. The product is expected to be publicly available in spring 2011.

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3. SEAGATE INTRODUCES GOFLEX FOR MAC EXTERNAL DRIVES DRAFT

New Collection of FreeAgent® GoFlex™ for Mac External Drives Are

Designed for Mac Enthusiasts While Maintaining Cross-Platform Compatibility


LAS VEGAS, NV - January 4, 2011 - Addressing the personal preferences of the Mac community, Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) today introduced a new collection of GoFlex™ for Mac external drives designed to make it easy for those who use Mac OS X and Time Machine to backup, shuttle, or share their digital content.

These new portable and desktop solutions are HFS+ formatted out-of-the-box, making them fully compatible with Apple Time Machine® backup software, while maintaining the ability to work across both Microsoft® Windows® and Mac OS X computers. A truly unique feature, GoFlex for Mac drives can also be used with computers running Windows by simply downloading an HFS+ driver for Windows from Seagate.com, which will provide full read-write access to the drive from a Windows computer.

Each GoFlex for Mac product comes bundled with FireWire® 800 and USB 2.0 adapters and cables-the most popular interfaces for Apple computers-but also delivers the flexibility to change the drive's interface to USB 3.0 or powered eSATA for use with Windows computers. The GoFlex™ interface cables help deliver the speed, performance and connectivity people need, as well as to help safe guard their investments against changing technology. To deliver a fresh look that fits seamlessly with today's Apple product line, each 2.5-inch, ultra-portable drive in the family features a durable, soft-touch, metallic finish, which is also designed to withstand scratches, fingerprints or other marks incurred from travel.

The new line-up of GoFlex™ for Mac external drives include:

o GoFlexTM for Mac ultra-portable drive- This 2.5-inch portable drive is now designed specifically for use with Apple's Time Machine right out-of-the-box, easily go back in time to access changes or file updates were before they were made. MSRP $199.99 for 1TB, and $249.99 for 1.5TB.

o GoFlexTM for Mac Limited Edition ultra-portable drive-The GoFlex™ for Mac Limited Edition ultra-portable drive packs 1TB of storage into the standardized 2.5-inch form factor, making it the slimmest high-cap drive available on the market today. With a depth of 12.5mm and shorter in length than an iPhone, the GoFlexTM for Mac Limited Edition is perfect for use with GoFlex TV or GoFlex Net. MSRP $199.95 for 1TB.

o GoFlexTM Pro for Mac ultra portable-This 7200RPM, 2.5-inch drive delivers advanced performance for those professionals who place high demands on their storage, such as graphic artists, musicians, videographers or photographers. Using the included Firewire 800 cable to achieve transfer speeds up to three times faster than USB 2.0. MSRP $149.99 for 500GB; $179.99 for 750GB.

o GoFlexTM Desk for Mac drive-This 3.5-inch high-capacity external drive includes a flexible design that can sit horizontally or vertically to fit your workspace. Back up files using Apple's Time Machine. Optional software displays the drive's real-time capacity with lights on the dock and includes other useful tools. MSRP $219.99 for 2TB; $279.99 for 3TB.

In addition, each GoFlex for Mac drive can be used with other devices in the GoFlex™ Storage System such as the GoFlex™ Net media sharing device and the GoFlex™ TV HD media player[1]. These solutions provide the flexibility to enjoy content on a TV or a mobile device, such as an iPad or smart phone. There is also an option to download additional software for use with all GoFlex for Mac drives that will provide helpful utilities such as a control to turn the activity lights off and a tool to verify that the drive is functioning properly. Each drive in the family also comes backed by a Seagate three-year warranty, helping to protect your investment and providing peace of mind.

"With over 10 billion songs downloaded from the iTunes® store and Apple's market share continuing to grow year-over-year, the growing audience for Mac OS X will need external storage to backup all their digital content," said Darcy Clarkson, vice president of Global Retail Sales and Marketing for Seagate. "Today's product introduction addresses these current market trends and underscores Seagate's commitment to delivering flexible, easy-to-use solutions that meet varying customer needs."

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SEAGATE UNVEILS CERTIFIED GOFLEX STORAGE SYSTEM FOR THIRD-PARTY MANUFACTURERS DRAFT – EMBARGOED UNTIL TUES.,

Continuing the Vision of Interoperability and Removable Cartridge Storage, Seagate and Partners

Showcase Concept Products at CES


LAS VEGAS, NV - January 4, 2011 - Driving a new era of how people consume their digital content, Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) today announced, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a new program to allow third-party companies to incorporate slots on their products to support removable GoFlex™ external hard drives. First introduced in May of 2010, the GoFlex™ family is the next evolution of consumer external hard drives providing the ability to use an assortment of storage products and interfaces to correspond with consumer's needs. The Certified GoFlex™ Storage System concept products on display range from media players and set-top boxes to computers and televisions, and each will incorporate a slot to accept an ultra-portable drive compatible with the Certified GoFlex Storage System. This group of third-party prototype products underscores the growth of digital media consumption on an increasing number of consumer electronic products. The Certified GoFlex Storage System will provide a seamless method by which people can copy, record, access, share and enjoy more of the music, photos and videos they crave on a wider range of devices.

The Certified GoFlex Storage System initiative is a certification process whereby Seagate will qualify products from participating companies to incorporate slots that meet the specifications of accepting ultra-portable drives that meet the Certified GoFlex Storage System standard. The Certified GoFlex Storage System will establish placement of both slot-based consumer electronics devices as well as certification of third-party external storage modules. Seagate's certification also endorses the soon to be established SATA – IO Universal Storage Module (USM) specification.

"When Seagate first introduced the GoFlex™ storage family last year, our objective was two pronged: first, address the three major hurdles of storage adoption -- interface flexibility, operating system freedom and enjoyment of content beyond the compute environment. Secondly, Seagate wishes to expand the use of storage beyond the typical use-case scenario of back up and migration of files for the computer," said Patrick Connolly, vice president and general manager for Seagate Retail. "The Certified GoFlex™ Storage System is the next step in realizing this vision and establishing hard drives as the next generation of recordable media."

Since the GoFlex ultra-portable drives are also standardized on the new SATA USM specification, third-party manufacturers can build GoFlex certified products to accept a 2.5-inch ultra-portable external hard drive. These third-party products will help transform the GoFlex ultra-portable drives from an external storage device to an easy-to-use, detachable storage module that will enable consumers to access digital content from a variety of consumer electronic devices. With this initiative, Seagate is actively involved in leading the shift of digital media consumption from mobile and computing environments to the living room using home entertainment devices. These Certified for GoFlex Storage System third-party products will, for the first time, allow consumers to make choices based on their own storage needs.

The SATA USM specification is a standard specification to accept a complete, powered external storage device into consumer electronic devices. Modules designed according to the SATA USM specification will enable consumers to instantly access their music, movies, photos and other content from a variety of consumer electronics products, and to seamlessly transfer content between devices.

"The growing number of consumer electronics product types with embedded storage is allowing hard disk drive manufacturers to expand into new markets. As they expand beyond their traditional home computer markets, drive manufacturers are pursuing embedded storage solutions in products other than personal computers," said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst with Parks Associates. "Seagate Technology's emphasis on targeting consumer electronics such as digital video recorders, gaming devices, digital music players, and digital cameras has allowed it to expand sales of hard drives and provide consumers with greater flexibility when it comes to consuming, sharing, saving and enjoying their content."

Seagate will highlight a variety of applications enabled by USM devices using the Certified GoFlex Storage System. Additionally, several consumer electronics manufacturers will be showcasing their Certified GoFlex Storage System concept products at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The showcase will include a television, notebook computer, desktop PC, plug computer, DVR and docking station. The companies showcasing these new prospective product capabilities include: Antec, GIEC, Hi-Sense, Ionics and Thermaltake.

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Seagate reveals 9mm 2.5-inch GoFlex external HDD, third-party GoFlex certification process