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Review: Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim 2TB

by Tarinder Sandhu on 7 July 2016, 12:01

Tags: Seagate (NASDAQ:STX)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qac366

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Performance and Summary

We have three other portable storage devices in our line-up: a 256GB Patriot USB pen drive, a 512GB SK hynix SSD attached via a cheap-and-cheerful SATA-to-USB 3.0 cable, as well as a 2TB My Passport Ultra. An extra wrinkle is introduced with the 8TB Seagate Innov8 that's powered by USB Type-C.

Sequential tests show storage appliances in the best possible light. These are the kind of peak speeds you would expect if transferring multiple large files to and from the drive. The Ultra Slim produces the kind of sequential read numbers that make attractive reading and marketing collateral.

The drive's Achilles' heel is the write speed, averaging just 33MB/s over this relatively short test. Should you wish to move that near-2TB movie collection over to the Ultra Slim then be prepared for a long wait...over 16 hours in fact. The situation is actually even worse than the above numbers show because average write speed drops to much closer to 10MB/s after extended use.

Our second benchmark involves two scenarios; copying across a folder containing large files such as ISOs; and copying across a program folder full of various small files. Large-file performance isn't too bad, all things considered, yet throughput is severely stunted when a mass of small files are flying over the interface. We put the substandard performance down to the below-average write speed shown in the first graph. If you have only one takeaway from the performance section, let it be this: the Ultra Slim drive sacrifices performance for a sleeker form factor.

Summary

Offering up to 2TB of nominal capacity in a 9mm-high, thin form factor ensures the drives stand out from the crowd...

Seagate has broadened its external storage portfolio with the introduction of the Ultra Slim drives at the turn of the year. Offering up to 2TB of nominal capacity in a 9mm-high, thin form factor ensures the drives stand out from the crowd.

There's an inevitable price premium for going down the svelte route, exemplified here with an additional 40 per cent fee over a standard-sized drive. Those, however, who expect the same kind of overall performance will be left wanting; the Ultra Slim's meagre write speed holds it back when transferring massive amounts of data onto it. Sure, you may not need to fill it on a regular basis, but it can at times feel painfully slow by modern standards.

Almost all external storage is a compromise of sorts. The Seagate Backup Ultra Plus scores big on looks and true portability but loses out in write speed and, inevitably, price.

The Good
 
The Bad
Super-slim form factor
Solid read speed
Handy utilities
Stylish design
 
Poor write performance
Significant price premium



Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim 2TB

HEXUS.where2buy

The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim 2TB is available to purchase from Amazon.

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At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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too slow too pricey
Pass.
I'd rather have a 9.5mm drive bigger than 2tb
That's terrible performance for a drive marketed for backup use. It's so slow, I'd question whether the sample was defective or if there's a bug in a driver somewhere.
Besides being slow, 2 Tb for a backup drive seems really small nowadays.
With more and more users moving to SSDs in the daily use there is more stuff stored away on backup drives since there is not enough space to leave it sitting on the main drives.