Seagate to offer 4TB external drive for $250

Seagate said today that it's preparing to ship to retailers a 4TB external hard drive that represents the highest capacity single-drive product in the industry. The 4TB GoFlex Desk drive will retail for $250 and is expected to be available through online retailers within the month. The new drive will be able to hold 2000 high-definition movies or about one million .mp3 music files.

The drive is the latest in the GoFlex product family launched last year. The new GoFlex Desk represents the line's first redesign, and it features a sharper "industrial look" with a smaller footprint. The entire line of GoFlex drives will adopt the new industrial design over the next few weeks.

Seagate chose to use a USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) connection on the new drive instead of one that uses the latest USB 3.0 (5Gbps) SuperSpeed specification. The company does, however, provide a USB 3.0 adapter that also features an illuminated gauge to display available space on the drive. Seagate said in a statement that with USB 3.0 still maturing and Apple now pushing Thunderbolt I/O technology, the adapter made more sense for use with existing desktops and laptops.

The GoFlex Desk comes with pre-loaded backup software that provides automatic, continuous back-ups with encryption for all stored files.

The GoFlex Desk for Mac external drive features both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 and will be available in Apple stores by the end of the month.

"Yet another industry first for Seagate, we have reached a new high-capacity in the 3.5-inch hard drive form factor," Patrick Connolly, general manager of retail products for Seagate, said in a statement.

The GoFlex drives are Windows and Mac OS X compatible and have the flexibility to go between both operating systems. In addition to cross-platform compatibility, the GoFlex Desk drive can also be utilized with the GoFlex Home adapter if an owner chooses to use it as a network drive.

[Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His email address is lmearian@computerworld.com.]

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