As regular Cheapskate readers know, flash-drive prices have plummeted in recent months. But hard-drive prices? They've been very slow to return to where they were a year ago.
Consequently, I'm liking this deal from Staples: the Seagate GoFlex Desk 1.5-terabyte USB hard drive for $79.99 shipped (plus sales tax in most states). Note that you may have to choose the drive from the drop-down menu on the right side of the product page.
Though it looks fairly sizable in the photos, the black, monolithic GoFlex stands a mere 6.2 inches tall and measures 1.7 inches wide. (It doesn't have to stand, of course -- it can also operate on its side.)
It's a USB 2.0 drive, which I think is fine for everyday external-storage chores (backups, expansion, etc.), but definitely not the best choice for folks who want the fastest possible file transfers.
If you're one of them, you'll be glad to know that Seagate's interchangeable GoFlex Desktop Adapter (i.e. the base of the drive) can be swapped for one with a USB 3.0 or FireWire interface. Of course, at that point you might be better off just buying a USB 3.0 drive from the get-go, but it's nice to have the option if you want it. FYI, here's an outfit that sells the USB 3.0 adapter for just $9.99.
Seagate includes a Mac-compatible NTFS driver that allows you to "interchangeably store and access files from PC and Mac computers without reformatting" -- a great perk for "mixed" households.
Seagate also supplies backup software that supports encryption and scheduled backups, and covers the GoFlex with a two-year warranty -- twice what you get with a lot of external drives.
CNET hasn't reviewed the GoFlex, but nearly 200 Staples customers rated it 4.3 stars out of 5 on average. I'd say if you're looking for an affordable, versatile, capacious external drive, this fits the bill very nicely.
Bonus deal: In case you missed it last time around, Best Buy has the Brother MFC-J435W multi-function printer for $49.99 shipped, plus sales tax. This is a top-rated MFP that prints, scans, copies, and faxes, and does most of it wirelessly.
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