Review: Seagate Expansion Desktop Drive

Review: Seagate Expansion Desktop Drive

With laptops getting more and more popular these days, we’re becoming increasingly more conscious of the need to back up data and to keep those precious photographs and files locked away where they can’t be lost. As much as we’d like to keep all our files in one place, it’s sometimes not the best solution. If we store all our files on our laptop, what happens when it gets stolen? What would happen if your hard drive developed a fault?

With this is mind, Tesco Compare have asked me to look in to one solution to the problem – an external hard drive such as the Seagate Expansion 3TB Desktop Drive. One of these would allow you to plug in your laptop, copy files across to a folder you create, leaving you free to delete the original files from your laptop, freeing up space and giving you peace of mind knowing your files are always at home.

What’s in the box?

Seagate 003

Here we have the drive itself, a power cable with both Europe and UK interchangeable pins, a USB cable and a Quick Start Guide. The guide has pictures of how to set the drive up, which is as simple as plugging the cable in the right holes and powering up your laptop or PC.

Most gadgets these days run on a standard/mini/micro USB connection, so cables are fairly interchangeable. The Seagate Expansion runs on USB 3.0, so the connector at the drive end is a less common USB 3.0 Micro-B plug which you may not have seen before. As you can see from the picture below, it looks a little strange, but this may become more common as technology plays catch-up.

Seagate 004

Of course, this also means that the drive is capable of high speed transfers if your computer has a USB 3.0 port.

Is it easy to use?

In a word, yes. It’s as simple as plugging the USB cable and you’re ready to go! Once you’ve opened file explorer, you should see the drive appear instantly under My Computer ready for you to copy files across to your heart’s content. And, as there’s 3TB space on it, you can store ~800 HD movies without breaking a sweat. This equates to around 2.5 MILLION photos from your point-and-shoot camera (@ 1-2MB per picture). This is possibly more space than you’re ever likely to need (famous last words).

Is it safe?

As mentioned before this isn’t a portable hard drive so you’re unlikely to leave it in a bag or unattended on a table away from home. This means that the chances of this being stolen are significantly reduced. If you’re particularly worried about the safety of your data, for instance you store a lot of confidential documents, you may wish to invest in a hard drive that has built-in encryption. But for everyday use for storage of photos and videos, keeping the data on this drive should be perfectly safe.


The box states that this drive is fully compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8, so you will be able to copy files, store libraries and have no problem in formatting the drive should you need it. I’ve plugged this hard drive into my Mac and have been able to copy files on to it, however you won’t be able format it to a non-Windows format successfully. You will not be able to make Time Machine back-ups nor store Aperture/iMovie libraries on it. If you are looking to buy a hard drive specifically for Time Machine back-ups, look for similar hard drives that state that they are OS X compatible.

If you’re looking to save space on your laptop or save important data somewhere where the files aren’t exposed to the outside world, The Seagate Expansion Desktop Drive is perfect for you. It’s available to purchase from Amazon for less than £90.00.