Top positive review
(3.5 stars) Seagate Backup Plus Slim Hard Drive is best suited for backup or archive uses
April 3, 2019
The Seagate Backup Plus Slim Hard Drive provides a large amount of storage in a small package, with typical performance for backups.
But while it would be tempting to use a drive this small as something portable or for everyday use - the technology choices Seagate has made make these 2TB drives most suitable either for:
- backups (rather than as a scratch drive or auxiliary portable external drive for daily use); or as
- an archive drive, to store a permanent or off-site backup.
INTERNAL DRIVE: Crystal Disk Info reports the drive inside this case to be a Seagate ST2000LM007, a thin 7mm, 2.5" 5400 RPM drive originally introduced in 2016 in the Mobile HDD line of drives. It's useful to know the drive inside an external drive, as there is often much more information available on the internet about the specific drive model. That's certainly the case with this drive - a search turns up quite a bit of information.
SMR RECORDING METHOD IS BEST USED FOR BACKUP OR ARCHIVE: As with most of Seagate's consumer-oriented drives currently, this drive uses Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) to increase the data density of the disk. While this does create more storage, it can create write speed issues. It's most useful for applications such as backup that don't need frequent re-writes.
TWO PLATTERS IN A 7MM DRIVE MAY MEAN A MORE FRAGILE DRIVE: Seagate has squeezed two spinning disc platters into a very thin 7mm case, and has had to redesign the drive to accommodate that. The specifics of how that was done suggest it may not be a good choice for a drive you plan to carry and use daily.
If you plan to carry an external drive on a regular basis, I'd suggest using a more robust design than this one, even if that means a slightly larger design. For an external drive, there's not much size difference between a 9mm drive, which can more easily accomodate two platters, and a 7mm drive.
BENCHMARKS AND WRITE SPEEDS: I've done some writes to the drive, and haven't found anything surprising. The performance for your use will vary widely depending on the computer it is attached to - the speed of the computer's drives and USB connection.
POWERED VIA USB: The drive is powered from the USB port. There is no external power supply. This is overall a good thing - it makes it much easier to use the drive, and so more likely you'll back up your files often. But keep in mind that it won't work on a non-powered USB hub, or a low-powered standard USB port.
1.8TB of STORAGE: As is typical for hard drive marketing, the 2TB indicated size means this stores 2 trillion bytes, which your system will report as 1.81 TB.