Seagate, supplier of storage and related products, is extending its warranty on consumer products and introducing a broad-based portfolio of products and services.
According to the marketing hype around the launch of the new products — timed to coincide with the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week — Seagate is no longer selling data storage products but "data movers". The FreeAgent data movers are a range of new storage products with capacities from 80GB to 750GB, which are aimed at consumers but are large enough for many professional and small-business users.
Until now, Seagate has offered non-corporate users a two-year warranty on products of this type, but will now offer a full five-year warranty. A Seagate spokesman explained that this is in line with its standard five-year warranty on "raw drives" — which are drives sold to large users who will configure the drives themselves.
The move reflects the greater reliability of hard disk drives and other storage products. But it is also part of a concerted initiative by Seagate which in November announced it was extending the warranty on its low-end Maxtor drives from one to three years. Seagate drives with the new extended warranty will be available in March.
FreeAgent products are a mix of integrated software and online content management tools that have been styled to fit in with consumer tastes, the company said.
The top-of-the-range FreeAgent Pro "data movers" come in 320GB, 500GB and 750GB capacities with software for desktop and online applications, which allows access to data while on the move. This includes software to synchronise content wherever you want and automatically transfer it to a flash drive. A 320GB drive will cost $199.99 (£102), with the 750GB drive costing $419.99 (£216).