Seagate FreeAgent Desk
Next goes a simple model from the new FreeAgent Desk series. It is simple in terms of interfaces as it is equipped with a USB port only.
The packaging has changed a little but remains as secure as before: stiff plastic is now used instead of cardboard. The exterior design has changed, too. The developer must have listened to the users’ feedback concerning the previous series into account. As a result, the new metallic “book” can now be taken off the plastic stand and placed flat on a desk. The USB and power connectors have moved from the stand to the back panel of the case. The activity indicator is different, too. It is now located on the book’s cover and designed like a FreeAgent series logo surrounded with star dots. It has also changed color from an aggressive orange to a calm white. Thanks to the proper level of brightness, this indication does not annoy the eye. It is rather a nice touch to the whole exterior design of the device. The designers have done a good job here.
Besides the updated exterior, the FreeAgent Desk has one important difference from the predecessor. It comes with the Seagate Manager software. The software is the same for both new series, so I will discuss it later on.
Seagate FreeAgent Xtreme
This is the most expensive model of the three. It is equipped with three interfaces: USB, FireWire 400 and eSATA.
The exterior difference from the previous model is in the color of the case and the number of connectors at the back panel. Note that there are not one but two FireWire ports: one for connecting to a computer and another for chain-connecting another FireWire device. Of course, the FireWire devices will have to share the bus bandwidth, yet this is a good feature, anyway. You can connect a number of FireWire devices even if your PC has but one FireWire port.
Next I will discuss the backup and synchronization software supplied together with both drives of the new series. By the way, this software comes already written to the formatted disk together with a user manual, so you may want to copy it somewhere safe in order to have a backup copy of the distribution.