Cloud storage is starting to become common with more and more people relying on the cloud to store files. Seagate says the Seagate Duet is a turn-key solution intended for consumers that are familiar with using traditional hard drives and introduce them to the benefits of the cloud by making it effortless to get their content into the Amazon Drive service, with zero configuration. New Amazon Drive customers will receive one free year of Amazon Drive Unlimited Storage when they buy a Seagate Duet. This drive is supposed to be easy to use for the average consumer so let’s dive into the Seagate Duet cloud-syncing hard drive review.
- Easily drag and drop files from your Mac or PC to the Seagate Duet. They’ll sync with your Amazon Drive account, providing dual backup
- Back up files from your smartphone or tablet with the Amazon Drive mobile app
- Access your stored files, photos and videos while away from home using the Amazon Drive mobile app
- Upload and download speeds may vary by ISP service.
What’s In The Box
- Seagate Duet Cloud-Syncing Drive
- 18 in (1.2m) USB 3.0 cable
- 1-year free Amazon Drive Unlimited plan for new users (US only) $59.99USD value
- Quick start guide
The Duet design isn’t anything special when it comes to aesthetic design as it looks very similar to Seagate’s other offerings. It has a plastic and aluminum enclosure with a single proprietary connection and an LED light. There is subtle Seagate branding on the top and bottom with a more prominent Amazon Drive branding on the top. The drive itself doesn’t feel super-rugged but it should do fine living inside a backpack or briefcase. Overall the design isn’t eye-catching or ground-breaking but it’s not horrible by any means.
*Thanks to one of our readers for pointing out our incorrect observation that this connection is proprietary, it is not. The Seagate Duet uses a USB 3.0 Micro B connection which you can find online. Apologies for that error.
Ease of Use
Seagate made this drive with Amazon to be super-simple to use for the common man and that it is. Plugging it in brings you directly to the setup of the drive and software and it was as easy as putting in your Amazon login details. Once you’re logged in you can choose what you want to sync to Amazon Drive and the process is pretty instant. Once syncing is done you can unplug the drive and move from laptop to desktop or leave it plugged in until you need it to move. While you can certainly store any files you want to store on the Duet and Amazon Drive, most common users will likely be using this for photos, music, and video.
The user experience on PC and the smartphone app are very much like the competition such as Google Drive and Dropbox making it a very easy to learn experience for new users. Everything is very much drag and drop or click and choose. When you open your Amazon Drive app you will find a Seagate Duet folder where you can access your files right in the app. Video, music, photos, and files all open in the app on iOS, I did not test on Android but it is available.
Seagate and Amazon really strived to make it easy for the average consumer to use this drive and in that, I think they succeeded. Everything is self-explanatory and the software setup is seamless and easy to use. Overall the average person shouldn’t have any issues setting up and using this drive to move and sync files to their Amazon Drive.
Performance isn’t bad at all, I was able to move 2-3GB video files from an external USB 3.0 Western Digital HDD plugged into my PC to the Duet also plugged into my PC via USB 3.0 in just under 1 minute. Music, doc/pdf files, and photo files moved over even faster, depending on how many you transfer at a time. Curiously, the files stored on my PC took a few seconds longer to move to the Duet than the ones stored on my external Western Digital HDD, but it was negligible.
Cloud syncing did take a bit longer for larger files like my 2-3GB video files but smaller files like PDFs and DOCs were almost instant, this is pretty much expected though. There are likely faster hard drives on the market but the Duet will do just fine for the average consumer. I would have liked to see this in USB Type-C format, transfer speeds would likely be much faster using Type-C. Overall, this drive will perform admirably for any average user and most everyone will be satisfied with the performance of this drive.
The Duet is priced at $99.99USD for 1TB of storage and 1 year of Amazon Drive (for new users). There are larger external HDD’s from Seagate priced lower than the Duet but you do have to take into consideration the $59.99USD value (for new users) that free year of Amazon Drive provides.
This is a great drive for the regular user who isn’t technically inclined and has no desire to be technically inclined but wants a storage device that syncs to Amazon Drive. The price is a little high but the added value of the free Amazon Drive storage gives it a little leeway in that department. I would recommend this drive to those who want the least amount of fuss with technical details.
*We were sent a sample of the Seagate Duet for the purposes of this review.
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