Overall it is clear to see that the hardware controlled Firewire bus provides much better performance than USB 2.0 with the Seagate 400GB external device. Firewire doesn't use the CPU nearly as much as USB 2.0 which means you can continue to work while copying files in the background knowing not many CPU cycles are being used.
HD Tach doesn't paint the best picture for the Seagate external drives but in our real-world File Copy Test we saw that the Firewire version was able to match it with the internal PATA drive easily, which is really impressive. You'll get around 35MB/s when copying to and from the external drive which is more than acceptable performance - about 30 seconds to copy 1GB of data. If you can only use USB 2.0 on your system, you'll be slowed down to around 27MB/s - about 38 seconds to copy 1GB of data. These speeds should be plenty fast enough for most users.
The poor old 5GB pocket drive from Seagate is about 300% slower than the Firewire version of the 400GB external device but they are in a different league. The pocket drive is designed for smaller amounts of data to be copied and has no problems well and truly beating a regular pen drive by around 35% in terms of copy speeds. Based on our figures it will take you a little over 2 minutes to copy 1GB of data to and from the pocket drive. With a regular pen drive, to copy the same amount of data it will take you a little over 3 minutes.
Both of these new portable storage products from Seagate definitely get our seal of approval. They are both stylish and made of high quality materials and are priced quite well, especially the 5GB pocket drive. If you need some portable storage for your pocket, the 5GB pocket drive from Seagate won't let you down. If you are a power user who needs massive amounts of storage to move around or just like the idea of having 400GB of storage at your mercy outside of your case (in a very cool unit with automatic backup ability), you won't be disappointed either.
No awards have been given but we do give Seagate the thumbs up with their new portable storage products, for sure!
Very stylish units
Good value for money
High quality materials
Solid and sturdy
Option of USB 2.0 and Firewire on the external drive
Automatic backup on the external drive
We'd feel more confident with cooling fans inside the external drive unit
Joint Rating - 9 out of 10