Feeds
75%

Seagate FreeAgent Pro 750GB external hard drive

As capacious as an elephant's scrotum - and as visually appealing?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Review You can go too far to be consumer friendly. Making a device straightforward to set up and get running with some clear, simple guidance is all very well, but it's easy to overdo it and come across chirpy and brainless. Seagate has come perilously close with its FreeAgent Pro external hard drive.

Seagate FreeAgent Pro 750GB external hard drive

Seagate clearly believes ordinary folk are scared of storage, even though external drives have never been easier to connect and use. So, opening the FreeAgent Pro's box reveals not only the most basic of set-up guides - reassuringly headlined, in large, friendly letters, "This won't take long" - but all the cables and adaptors come in little grey bags each sealed with a yellow sticker marked "Hello".

Every page of the set-up instructions includes the time Seagate expects you to take with each stage, claiming you'll be done in 1 minute 51 seconds. Or not - as it says on the back: "Times may vary depending on exactly how excited you are about using your new FreeAgent Pro data mover."

Heck, even Mac packaging isn't this smug.

And let me repeat those last few words. "Data mover." Even the phrase 'hard drive' might prove unfathomable for poor old Colin, the Confused Consumer.

But the worse is yet to come: the FreeAgent's design. Again, in a bid to stress that storage products are as relevant to consumers as they are to office drones, Seagate has come up with a look that's miles from the grey blocks of yore. The drive's encased in black plastic moulded to look like brushed metal and banded with translucent orange plastic that lights up when you connect the power supply. It's also eminently scratchable as I found after taking it home one evening.

Black and orange can go together, but here the illumination resembles nothing so much as the sickly glow you get from sodium street lamps.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.