Seagate Releases 2.5" Hard Drive Thunderbolt Adapter
CES featured a decent amount of Thunderbolt equipped accessories and Lacieís Little Big Disk is finally available, but Seagate's GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter might be the most accessible.
Seagateís GoFlex portable hard drives feature an interchangeable interface via a number of different adapters (Firewire, eSATA, and USB 3.0). Their new Thunderbolt adapter retails for $99 and promises transfer speeds up to 10Gb/s. However, the interface is a simple 2.5Ē SATA connector which means the GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter can be used with any bare 2.5Ē SATA hard drive. The setup also requires a Thunderbolt cable which will set consumers back an additional $50, adding a total of $150 to their hard drive purchase.
Transfer speeds will never reach Thunderboltís theoretical maximum either, even Lacieís Little Big Disk with multiple SSDís operating in a RAID 0 setup canít reach 10Gb/s. Also, the device only has a single Thunderbolt port meaning it has to be at the end of the chain, but the device is also bus-powered forgoing the need for an external power supply. Seagate has a desktop model on the way with an external power supply and an additional Thunderbolt port as well, but itíll retail for $199 as well.
Thunderbolt is a long way from being ubiquitous in the computer world, but Apple and Intelís support is keeping the I/O alive and well. Hopefully more external Thunderbolt solutions emerge, especially ones less expensive than Lacieís current offerings.