External hard drives are pretty passé these days. Walk into any retailers that sells computer peripherals and you'll have dozens to choose from. And although cloud services make it relatively easy to share files and backup data, portable drives have a place where connectivity is limited. The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is a lightweight drive that ticks all the boxes for mobile backup and storage.
What Is It?
The Backup Plus Slim is a lightweight, portable hard drive. Its attractive casing houses a capacious 2TB drive that offers plenty of storage for files or for backing up your system when you're on the go.
Although it doesn't boast an SSD, it performs well and worked perfectly with the macOS and Windows 10 systems I tested it with.
|Size and weight||114.8 x 78 x 11.7 mm, 126g|
|Capacity||1TB or 2TB|
|Compatibility||Windows 7 or higher, or Mac OS X 10.11 or higher|
|Connectivity||USB 3 with supplied USB-A cable|
Seagate has been at the portable hard drive game for a very long time and it shows. There's nothing fancy about the Backup Plus Slim because anything extraneous has been trimmed away. You simply plug the device in and its ready to use. I tested the 2TB version.
Mac users that aren't planning on sharing the drive with Windows users will probably want to format the drive into a Mac-specific format.
A couple of weeks ago I switched out my trusty, but ageing, Mac mini for a new 13-inch MacBook Pro. I'm spending more and more time travelling these days and while I can get away with an iPad for many tasks, there are times when I really need a "proper" computer. But one of the hassles is that my budget didn't extend to a 2TB SSD which added another $1800 to the price tag. So, that meant looking for an external storage solution. Here's what I bought and how I set that drive up.
Performance was solid without being spectacular. The internal drive is a 5400RPM dual-platter hard drive so if you're looking for blazing performance something with an SSD might be a better choice. But for backups, some file sharing and holding large files when you're travelling it's a good choice.
Seagate has bundled a two-month membership to Adobe Creative Photography Plan as well as backup software.
I really only had one problem with the Backup Plus Slim. It ships with a USB-A cable. Given that many portable computers have moved on and only have USB-C ports that means you'll either need an adapter or have to source a USB 3 Standard A to USB-C cable. Life would be easier if Seagate used USB-C on the drive, instead of USB 3 Standard A, and supplied both USB-A and USB-C cable.
Fortunately, I had a USB 3 Standard A to USB-C cable in my kit.
Also, there's no integrated hardware encryption. So, you'll need to use software-based encryption if you're security conscious.
Should You Buy It
If you're after a low-cost portable backup and storage solution that works well and is easy to set up, then you could do worse than the Seagate Backup Plus Slim. It's small, light and delivers decent, but not cutting edge, performance.
The Backup Plus Slim comes in a variety of colours and costs just $88 - which is a pretty good deal in my view.
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