As a general rule, retailers will charge a premium for a hard drive that is pre-formatted for use with a Mac. It’s an expense that you really don’t need to incur given how easy it is to reformat a disk. In this case, the price for the “Mac” version was the same as the “Windows” version so there wasn’t really a decision to be made.
Given that the drive was already formatted to the HFS+ (Journaled) format, all that was required was opening the package and plugging in the unit with the included 18″ USB 3.0 cable.
Seagate describes this drive as “Thin, Light and Easy Backup That’s Good To Go” and that is certainly true. I use this drive to store a clone of my computer off site from my home office. I bring it hone once a month to do an updated clone and then take it back to it’s off-site location. The small size of the drive makes it easy to slip in a pocket or bag for easy transportation so this would be a perfect addition for extra portable storage for a laptop. Because the unit is already formatted for a Mac it is Time Machine ready as soon as you plug it in.
One of the things that makes Seagate drives unique is the interchangeable interface. This drive comes ready to use with a USB connection, which is backward compatible to USB 2.0, but they also sell
connections for USB 2.0, Firewire 800 and eSATA, and for us Mac users, Thunderbolt. The unit also comes with an HFS+ driver to allow the unit to be used with a Windows PC, although I’m hard pressed to understand why someone wouldn’t just by the unit pre-formatted to the NTFS format used by Windows. Seagate is also currently offering 2 years of 200GB of storage on OneDrive included with your purchase of a Seagate Backup Plus for Mac Portable Drive (a $95.00 value).
This particular drive is the 1TB model but Seagate also advertises the same drive in 500GB and 2TB versions. The MSRP for the 500GB model is $64.99, 1TB is $69.99 and 2TB is $119.99 but these units are often on sale, even on the Seagate site, so check all the prices before making a choice since the few dollars difference can make a big difference in capacity.
The Bottom Line
The Seagate Backup Plus for Mac Portable Drive is a solid piece of hardware in its own right and the fact that it is pre-formatted for the Mac makes it an easy purchase decision for anyone who is unsure of how to reformat a hard drive. In addition, the included 200GB of OneDrive space almost makes the hardware free.
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