We’ve spent the past few weeks using the Seagate GoFlex Slim 320GB portable hard drive and have come away with some mixed feelings on the drive.  On one hand, it is obviously the thinnest external hard drive in the market and it is plenty fast with its internal 7200 RPM internal drive.  In fact, it is about the same depth as an iPhone 4.

On the other hand…

This is a USB3 drive which offers bus speed that most Macs won’t be able to take advantage of (USB 3 Express cards are available).  At USB 2, the drive performs like a pretty normal portable hard drive with read/write speeds below 40MB/sec

For the money, you can pick up a much bigger, roomier hard drive that is only millimeters thicker.  For instance, grab a Seagate, Western Digital or Toshiba 1TB (slightly less) portable HDD for the same $100.  Or, grab a 500GB Seagate drive for $59.  The point is, the 320GB Slim is a premium product.

That in itself would be fine.  However, that thin-ness also comes at a cost to the security of data.  Thicker cases offer more shock absorption than this case which is a thin layer of plastic around the internel drive.  We didn’t do any testing so we can’t verify beyond common sense on this however.

Conclusion?  If you place a premium on thin-ness over capacity/cost and even speed the Slim might be a winner for you.  Otherwise, there is a crowded market full of thicker drives which will do a great job as well.

The Seagate GoFlex Slim 320GB hard drive retails for $99.99 but can be found as low as $83.24

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