by Adam Armstrong

Seagate Duet Review

The Seagate Duet is a 1TB portable storage device that works with Amazon Drive to provide unlimited cloud storage. The Duet allows users to store up to 1TB of files, photos, videos, or music locally, as well as sync with the users Amazon Drive account. That way files are backed up on the device with a copy on the linked Amazon Drive account. This has two benefits: if anything happens to the Duet files are still safe and if users are without the drive itself, they can log into their Amazon account from various devices in order to share files.

More people are living on their mobile devices, phones and tablets and the thought of unlimited data has an increasing level of appeal. With all of the data that is being generated, one drawback is the limit of capacity on these devices. While there are a number of cloud backup and sync applications in the market, the Duet offers 1TB of local storage paired up with unlimited Amazon Drive storage. Users simply plug their Duet into a computer and they automatically sync files onto the drive. This adds another level of backup protection and enables users to access or add to their files when they lack Internet access, such as on planes.

The Seagate Duet is available exclusively through Amazon at $100. Buying the Duet gives users a 1-year free trial of Amazon Drive; it goes up to $59.99/year after that.

Seagate Duet specifications:

  • Capacity: 1TB
  • Interface: USB 3.0
  • System requirements: Mac OS X 10.10 or higher or Windows 8, Windows 7
  • Physical
    • Length: 4.468in/113.5mm
    • Width: 2.992in/76mm
    • Depth: 0.378in/9.6mm
    • Weight: 0.271lb/0.123kg
  • Warranty: 2-year limited

Design and Build

The Seagate Duet looks similar to the other small portable Seagate drives. The device is small enough to fit in the palm of one’s hand. The device only comes in black, with the top having both Seagate and Amazon Drive branding as well as an LED status light.

The bottom of the drive has an embossed Seagate logo taking up about 80% of the surface with information on the drive in the bottom right hand corner.

The front of the drive has the USB 3.0 interface.

Management

Managing the Duet and Amazon Drive is fairly simple. Plug the device into a computer and the user will be prompted to install with either Mac or Windows (for this review the software was installed on a 2011 Mac Mini). A wizard walks users through the setup that only takes a moment.

Once the setup is finished Users will see the icon pop up in their dashboard and will be prompted to sign into their Amazon Drive account or setup an account.

In the dashboard icon users will be asked to add a new device, the Duet. Once the Duet is added the dashboard icon then displays a screen with the user’s account, settings, and both the Amazon Drive and Duet and their status.

On the mobile device, users need only to download the app and enter their Amazon Drive password and they are ready to roll. To add photos, for instance, they need only go to the photo folder, hit add, select the photos they want, and then they will appear in the Amazon Drive account on any signed in device. From there, the items can be moved to the Duet or just saved to the Duet in the first place.

On the other end, users can open the Duet on their desktop and drag and drop files into it and seem them appear in the app. Or users can open the web browser with Amazon Drive and do the same.

Performance

For performance we ran IOMeter on our HP Z640 workstation. We compared the Seagate Duet to Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim. Both drives share similar designs although the Slim uses an SMR drive inside.

In our 2MB sequential the Duet was able to hit 129MB/s write and read. The Ultra Slim hit 40.9MB/s write and 124.27MB/s read. With our 2MB random the Duet was able to 99.8MB/s write and 81.7MB/s read compared to the Ultra Slim that hit 36.9MB/s write and 80.2MB/s read.

On 4k transfers the Duet gave us 270 IOPS write and 113.5 IOPS read.

Conclusion

With the Seagate Duet users can sync up files on their mobile devices using the Amazon Drive app, as well as retain physical backup. This allows them to move off extra files to free up room while retaining everything that is important to them on a portable drive and in the Amazon Drive cloud. The Duet costs just under $100, comes with a 2-year warranty, and a 1-year free trial of Amazon Drive (which runs about $60/year).

Looking at local performance, the drive performed well. In our 2MB sequential the drive hit 129MB/s for both read and write. With 2MB random, the Duet hit 81.7MB/s read and 99.8MB/s write. And in our 4K test, the Duet hit 270 IOPS write and 113.5 IOPS read. For a slightly more subjestive test, the actually syncing of the drive with the files added to the account took no longer than one would expected syncing with popular file sharing services such as Dropbox or G-Drive.

Pros

  • Easily portable
  • “Unlimited” storage with Amazon Drive
  • Gives users a physical backup

Cons

  • Large backups may take a long time to sync depending on internet connection speeds

The Bottom Line

The Seagate Duet gives users 1TB of extra space as well as the ability to sync the drive with their Amazon Drive account via simple to use application(s). 

Seagate Duet at Amazon

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