Seagate Pocket Hard Drive with a Kiss for scale (view large image)
Flash memory has dropped in price over the years, while capacities have continued to increase, but high capacity flash RAM remains very expensive. Seagate has a portable alternative that might appeal to users who need more storage, but still want a small, universal form factor. Their hockey-puck style hard drives come in 2.5GB and 5GB sizes, the latter selling for roughly $100, not bad for that much portable storage.
Seagate Pocket Drive Specs
- Dimensions – 0.71″ H x 3.03″ D
- Weight — 2.2 ounces
- Available in 2.5GB and 5GB sizes, 6GB coming soon
- 3600 RPM, 2MB cache, 1″ drive
- USB 2.0 compatible with PC and MAC (up to 480 Mbps)
- Sequential read/write performance: 4 MB/sec to 7 MB/sec (typical)
- Drive shell absorbs shock, protecting the hard drive
- Powered over USB
- Built-in USB cable
- Password protection (Windows only)
- One year warranty on parts and labor
Pocket Drive Setup and Use
The pocket drive rotates to reveal a USB plug with about six inches of cord. The drive is automatically detected under Windows XP, so even though Seagate includes a disk with drivers and tools, it shouldn’t be needed unless you wipe the contents of the drive and want the management tools back.
Drive with cord extended (view large image)
Once connected to a host computer a blue light in the center of the disk will light up showing the connection has been made. It will light again on read/write access. At the conclusion of using the drive, the cord winds back up, with the USB adaptor protected under the Pocket Drive’s case.
USB cord clips into place and rotates into the shell (view large image)
At 3600 RPM, the drive is slower than even the lowest-end 4200RPM notebook drives. That’s part of the give and take though as you scale down the drive size. Even though it sounds slow, in practical terms it’s not that bad. I transferred a directory of family pictures from my computer to the Pocket Drive that included 1,334 files and 2.1GB in 14 minutes.
Drive in use (view large image)
For a smaller, more practical test, I copied over a ripped music CD containing 22 files for a total of 102MB. The copy to the Pocket Drive took 35 seconds. By way of comparison, the same files were copied to a USB flash drive in 22 seconds, about 60% faster. Playing the music files through Windows Media Player worked perfectly with both the Pocket Drive and USB flash drive though.
HD Tune results (view large image)
This takes us to the crux of the benefit analysis for the Pocket Drive. You’re going to give up raw speed when it comes to file transfers, but you’re going to gain in the space per dollar ratio and Seagate has bundled together a few nice tools to manage the drive. Similar tools may or may not come on USB flash drives, depending on who makes them.
Drive management software (view large image)
Seagate has done a nice job of providing a large amount of storage in a form factor that’s visually pleasing and somewhat ruggedized. There’s no setup required and if you want advanced tools like boot disk creation, partitioning and drive security, the Pocket Drive has a lot to offer. If you need a high capacity drive that fits nicely in a pocket, the Seagate Pocket Drive is a fantastic option. At $100 for the 5GB model it’s hard to go wrong.
- Easily pocketable
- Built in USB cable
- Powered over USB
- Good accompanying software
- Slow transfer speeds