IMG_1908It’s that time of the year again.  Time to put in long hours of lectures, labs, and study time, just to return home to hours of homework.  Yes, back to school season is upon us.  Over the years more and more forms of education have moved to the digital realm.  While this often makes completing tasks and staying organized much easier, it also has made us become extremely reliant on our technology.  The problem with this reliance on technology is that when it fails, it is often catastrophic.  With everything being digital the age old excuse of “My dog ate my homework!” no longer applies especially when there are easy ways to prevent such situations.  This is where Seagate’s Backup Plus Ultra Slim external drive comes into play.

The Backup Plus Ultra Slim is available in gold or platinum in either 1TB or 2TB options with the latter being the worlds slimmest 2TB drive at only 9.6mm thin.  To put that into perspective an iPhone 6s Plus is 7.3mm thick.  Both capacity options measure at the same 9.6mm thickness, have a footprint of 113.5mm by 76mm, and weigh only 135g.  The bottom of the drive is constructed of a hard plastic that is glossy around the edges and textured on the bottom with a smooth blown up Seagate logo.  You will also find the model, serial number and other information printed in the corner following the design of the logo.  The top of the drive is made of metal and features a large circular pattern embossed in it.  In one corner their is a small Seagate logo and in the far opposite corner a thin and classy looking indicator light.  On the same end is a micro-USB 3.0 port.  Included with the drive is an 18in USB 3.0 cable that provides both power and data connectivity.

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Throughout my testing of the hard drive I had no issues with it being powered even from older laptops that only have USB 2.0 ports.  It is nice to know that the drive will work well on both old and new computers.  On Windows 10 the drive is plug and play with little to no wait time for it to be installed.  Windows 10 even took advantage of the autorun file on the drive and assigned an icon that resembles the drive so that it is easy to identify in the File Explorer.  You will also find a dmg file for Mac users, warranty information, and a setup executable for Seagate Dashboard.  The Dashboard app can be used to quickly and easily setup a full hard drive backup or the backing up of individual folders.  Most people will be happy with the pre-configured backup that will take care of backing up all of your documents and media in the standard Windows locations.  The software can also help you configure the drive to back up your mobile devices using Seagate’s Lyve app.  The Lyve app allows you to backup all of your pictures and videos from multiple mobile devices onto your Backup Plus drive.  An additional feature included with the drive is 200GB of OneDrive storage.  To test the drive I ran numerous benchmarks using Crystal Disk Mark.  I focused my testing on sequential read and write speeds of various file sizes to simulate backing up and restoring files from the drive.  I ran each benchmark three times to get an average.  The average sequential read speed of all file sizes was 145.6MB/s and the average sequential write was 138.5MB/s.  These are very respectable speeds from a compact external drive.  I found that with files 500MB or larger the drives performance remained very consistent even after hours of back to back benchmarks.  Even after my abusive span of benchmarks the drive only became a little worm which is better than I expected.

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In summery, Seagate’s Backup Plus Ultra Slim 2TB drive looks great, is crazy slim, fast, includes a nice length cable, doesn’t get hot, and most importantly includes software to backup your computer, mobile photos and videos, and can also backup your backups to the included 200GB of OneDrive storage.  I think it goes without saying that every student of any age or caliber needs one of these in their backpacks.

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If you are interested in purchasing the Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim or any of their Backup Plus series drives ranging from 500GB to 4TB, they can be found here.

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