When Apple launched the latest version of its MacBook Air, one of the few areas of concern for some was its limited amount of on-board storage. Particularly with its smaller form factor MacBook Air, which is built with 64 GB of flash-based storage, one wondered if it would become too much of a limitation.
But with Apple, storage isn’t just a simple, cut-and-dried issue. Mac OS X also provides the amazing Time Machine function, which offers push-button backup to another storage drive right out of the box.
Enter desktop storage veteran Seagate, which is now shipping the external GoFlex Pro for Mac – a drive that combines the ability to quickly multiply available storage with a sleek, elegant solution for Time Machine.
The CRN Test Center had an opportunity to review the GoFlex Pro for Mac ultra-portable – a 500 GB, USB 2.0-attached external storage device. Seagate ships the device with both FireWire and USB 2.0 connections, meaning it supports both older and newer Macs.
We hooked it up to the USB port on a 64 GB MacBook Air to give it a look. In about ten seconds, it was backing up the entire notebook via Time Machine. The first backup took a few minutes, but secondary backup took less than thirty seconds each. File transfers, including multi-media files, took a few seconds each; the 7200 RPM drive and USB connection are just flat-out fast.
The GoFlex for Mac Pro ultra-portable weighed in on our lab scale at 5.8 ounces (about the same as an iPhone), and its footprint is a baby footprint: 3 inches by 5 inches by a half-inch.
Seagate also provides drive setting software which, once installed on the MacBook Air, provided a one-button diagnostic test to check the health of the drive, as well as allow for turning the “Activity Lights” on the drive itself to be turned on or off. (If you’re using the notebook on battery power, and have the GoFlex for Mac Pro attached, turning off the lights can save battery life.)
It should also be noted that the drive is also compatible with Windows systems for file sharing between platforms.
As far as peripherals for Macs, the Seagate GoFlex for Mac Pro ultra-portable is an absolute winner and no-brainer for anyone using a MacBook Air needing a big more capacity than the 64 GB or 128 GB of on-board storage. List-priced at $139, it’s well worth it and can set anyone whose interested in a MacBook Air at ease on both capacity and data backup fronts. The CRN Test Center recommends it.