The Seagate Expansion Portable is a compact and relatively cheap method of getting a rather impressive amount of extra storage. I have the 2TB version, but other capacities are available.
The first thing that strikes you when you take out the drive is how modest it looks – matt black plastic in a very angular form. It doesn’t look premium and the sharp edges confirm this. There are no rubber feet on the underside, something you may want to think about adding yourself.
It is USB 3 which is very much a bonus and, in use, a discrete LED lights on the top rear of the drive. Compact at 8.1 cm wide and 8.1 cm deep, it has a height of just 1.5 cm too. The USB cable is 45cm long, which is a reasonable length (whether it’s long or short, somebody will argue that it needs to be the opposite). No external power supply is needed, with all power coming from USB.
I benchmarked the drive with CrystalDiskMark and found that it was impressively quick when reading and writing sequential files. It’s average for a USB 3 drive, though, when it comes to random read/writes.
Sequential Read : 129.151 MB/s
Sequential Write : 137.410 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 40.544 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 55.089 MB/s
Random Read 4KB : 0.454 MB/s
Random Write 4KB : 1.146 MB/s
The Expansion isn’t designed to be taken apart but it can be if you need to (although there’s no guarantee is will go back together as you have to be quite brutal taking it apart). Besides, I’ve done that for you so you don’t need to! The drive is held securely in place by some rubber covered side screws – these slot into some vertical plastic ribs inside the case – this will ensure vibration against the case it minimal. A thick foil wrap covers the rear electronics of the drive, ensuring limited interference. Inside is just a Toshiba drive with a small circuit board connected to the SATA connection on the rear – this board is basically converting SATA to USB 3 (and vice versa). And that’s all there is to the interior.
Packaging wise, it comes in a relatively modest box and the drive and cable are then hold within this by two further cardboard sections. The use of board throughout is good but it’s still over sized – less could have been used. The cable and drive are held inside separately and there is a small, multi-lingual document explaining how to use the drive and covering off the warranty. It’s not too big, which is good.
The drive comes with a 2 year limited warranty, which you can register for using some software pre-installed on the drive (although this only works for Windows).
I bought the Seagate Expansion Portable 2TB from Amazon for £67.99.
Quick, cheap external storage, it’s a shame that Seagate skimp on the quality of the end product.