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Seagate issues industry's first 1.5TB external 2.5-inch HDD: FreeAgent GoFlex USB 3.0

Darren Murph

Look out, world -- Seagate's got a new portable hard drive comin' your way, and it's as capacious as ever. If you'll recall, Western Digital broke the 1TB mark in the diminutive 2.5-inch drive sector back in July of last year, and now we're seeing a 50 percent boost with the 1.5TB FreeAgent GoFlex ultra-portable drive. The company's claims that this is a first of its kind, and we certainly aren't in the mood to argue. It's designed to play nice with both Macs and PCs (it's formatted as NTFS), and better still, it's all set up to take advantage of that shiny new USB 3.0 port on your shiny new laptop. As with the other GoFlex gear, this one also has a removable dongle on the bottom for docking (with an optional GoFlex Net or GoFlex TV HD, naturally), and as with some of the company's past drives, you'll also find an assortment of 20 Paramount Pictures movies that can be unlocked via license key online. She's available in every color you could imagine so long as it's black, and it can be yours for the tidy sum of $249.99.

Gallery: Seagate 1.5TB GoFlex USB 3.0 external hard drive | 17 Photos

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New FreeAgent® GoFlex™ Ultra-Portable External Drive Packs a Punch with Pre-loaded Paramount Pictures Films, Unprecedented Amount of Storage and Blazingly Fast USB 3.0 Connection

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - September 21, 2010 - Designed to address the explosive worldwide demand for digital storage, Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) today launched the world's first 1.5 terabyte (TB) 2.5-inch portable external drive. Available immediately, the new 1.5TB FreeAgent® GoFlex™ ultra-portable drive delivers an all-in-one, technically advanced solution to help jump-start, build, store and enjoy libraries of digital content in one's preferred medium-whether on a Mac or PC, or a television, at home or on the go. With 1.5TB of capacity people can now store and carry up to 60 HD movies, 750 video games, thousands of photos or tens of thousands hours of digital music.

"Today's announcement is a 'triple-crown' of consumer technology-packaging record breaking capacity, blazingly fast USB 3.0 connectivity and the bonus of major motion picture entertainment-making the 1.5TB GoFlex™ ultra-portable drive an unprecedented and innovative solution," said Darcy Clarkson, vice president of Global Retail Sales and Marketing for Seagate. "Bringing this solution to market on the heels of our 3TB GoFlex™ Desk drive and the Momentus® XT solid state hybrid drive is proof of Seagate's continuing technology leadership and tradition of setting storage industry milestones."

Shipping now in the United States and rolling out globally later this year, all 1.5TB GoFlex ultra-portable drives will ship with a USB 3.0 interface cable, accelerating the transfer speed of a drive up to 10x when connected to a USB 3.0 port, when compared to a USB 2.0 port. For example, a drive using a USB 3.0 connection can transfer a 25GB HD movie in under five minutes versus the 14 minutes it would take using a traditional USB 2.0 drive . In
addition, all GoFlex ultra portable drives will now also ship with the new superspeed USB 3.0 cable, which will still continue to work with existing USB 2.0 ports.

"Consumers continue to push the growth of digital music, photos, and video content, and increasingly want access to this content from a variety of CE devices, including a PC," says John Rydning, IDC's research director for hard disk drives. "Higher capacity disk drives in combination with higher bandwidth interfaces like USB 3.0 will help to make a greater number of large multimedia files more accessible from multiple devices in the home."

A key addition to the GoFlex™ family, the new 1.5TB GoFlex ultra-portable drive delivers ultimate flexibility in how people collect, protect, share and enjoy their digital libraries, all in a convenient compact package. In addition to coming bundled with USB 3.0 connectivity, the drive can be used with an array of add-on cables and accessories such as the GoFlex™ Net media sharing device and the GoFlex™ TV HD media player, that provide the flexibility to enjoy your content on a TV, a network, using a mobile device, or via the Internet.

Continuing the special offer with Paramount Digital Entertainment, a division of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), specially-marked packages of the new 1.5TB and the 1TB GoFlex ultra-portable drives will contain Paramount Pictures' popular film, Star Trek (2009), which can be activated free of charge. Each drive will also contain an assortment of 20 Paramount Pictures movies that can be easily and securely unlocked by purchasing a license key online. The films will be licensed for multiple devices to allow for portability and enjoyment on a Windows® OS desktop computer, laptop computer, or widescreen television, by connecting the drive to one of the two available USB ports on a GoFlex TV HD media player . Paramount content will also be added to additional capacities of the GoFlex Pro ultra-portable drive in October.

All 1.5TB GoFlex ultra-portable drives are compatible with both the Windows® operating system and Mac® OS X computers. Each drive includes an NTFS driver for Mac, which allows the hard drive to store and access files from both Windows and Mac OS X computers without reformatting. The NTFS driver is simply installed once on the Mac® OS X computer, allowing it to read and write files on a Windows formatted drive.

The 1.5TB GoFlex ultra-portable drive with USB 3.0 adapter is available in black and can be purchased on and through select retailers for $249.99.

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