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Seagate Seven review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £100
inc VAT

The Seagate Seven is incredibly thin, but performance is only average and you pay a premium for the design


Capacity: 500GB, Cost per gigabyte: £0.20, Interface: USB3


With a stainless steel chassis just 7mm thick, the Seagate Seven is the thinnest portable drive in the world which uses a mechanical hard disk, as opposed to an SSD. The drive is slimmer than a smartphone, so you’ll have no trouble slipping it in your pocket when you need to carry a large amount of data with you.

The drive comes with a braided USB cable, which feels classy, and the single blue activity LED is subtle enough not to prove distracting. You can disable this light altogether through Seagate’s software suite if you prefer.

In order to make such a slim drive, Seagate has used a 5mm hard disk, which spins at 5,400RPM and has just 16MB of cache. The fact Seagate has to use such a slim drive also means the Seven is only available in one capacity, so if 500GB isn’t enough you’ll need to look for a different disk.

The 5,400RPM spin speed means the drive won’t be breaking any performance records. In our file transfer tests, it managed to write large files at 84.6MB/s and read them at 105.9MB/s – a distinctly average result from a mechanical disk. Small file speeds were unsurprisingly slower, but 20.6MB/s writes and 55.6MB/s reads are still better than average for a portable hard disk.

The Seven comes with Seagate’s Dashboard software suite, which lets you set automatic data backups on both PC and Mac. By default it scans your User, Documents, Music, Pictures and Video directories, but you can add specific folders if you store your files elsewhere. Backups can be scheduled, or you can set the program to monitor your folders for changes. Both settings worked well during our tests and the application is easy to use. The flipside of this ease of use is that the program is incredibly simplified; if you need finer control or want to back up multiple user accounts you will need to find a third-party tool.

We liked Dashboard’s social network integration, which lets you upload video directly from the desktop to your YouTube account, or upload and download files to and from Facebook and Flickr. It’s a time-saving process if you’re looking to save old photos to the cloud, or want to save your own copy of a family member’s holiday snaps.

Dashboard also works together with Seagate’s mobile Backup app for iOS and Android, letting you back up photos and videos you’ve snapped with your smartphone camera automatically when phone and computer are connected to the same wireless network.

At 20p per gigabyte, the Seagate Seven is undeniably expensive; you can find a multitude of 500GB USB3 hard disks for less than half the price if you don’t mind a chunkier disk. If you want a hard disk that makes a statement this is one of the best looking around, but for everyone else the £50 Toshiba StorE Canvio is better value.

Formatted capacity (NTFS)465GB
Cost per gigabyte£0.20
Power connectorNone
Spindle speed5400RPM
Quoted seek time16ms
WarrantyTwo years RTB
Part codeSTDZ500400

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