Review: Seagate Expansion Portable 2TB External Hard Drive (STEA2000422)

  • September 29, 2019
  • James Skemp
  • review

The following is a review of the Seagate Expansion Portable 2TB External Hard Drive HDD, with USB 3.0 (STEA2000422), received as part of the Amazon Vine program.

Fast Storage for Windows and Mac

I’ve had an off-and-on relationship with Seagate, going back and forth between them and Western Digital when I need both internal hard drives, as well as external hard drives.

For external hard drives, I’ve picked up the following over the last two to three years:

  1. Two Seagate Backup Plus Slim (2015/2016)
  2. One WD 4TB Black My Passport Portable (2017)
  3. This Seagate Expansion Portable (2019)

The following compares these models, focusing mainly on how they compare with the Expansion Portable.

All models feature USB 3.0, which means that all are fairly fast, if your machine supports USB 3.0. Since USB 3.0 works with earlier USB ports, you can still use this on older machines.

Two terabytes is approximately on par with other models at a similar price point. I’ve found that Western Digital drives are generally a little cheaper for the same amount of space, but at larger sizes the price starts to equal out.

Physically, the drives are also the same size, with 1-2TB drives being smaller than 3TB and up. With the Western Digital drive I ended up purchasing a carrying case for the My Passport, but when I want to carry around the Seagate drives I end up reusing the packaging that the drive some in. This features a clamshell plastic case, with the USB cable having a small storage spot under the drive. With previous Seagate drives I had a hard drive putting the cable under the drive without it popping up, but the Expansion variant it closes much easier. The plastic is then slid back into the original packaging for semi-secured, albeit not padded, transport.

This particular drive has some slight texturing to it, as compared to the promotional imagery that makes it look like it sticks out quite a bit. However, the drive is still rather untextured, so it only helps holding it very slightly.

All of these drives have bundled software, but I’ve yet to need any of the programs to get this hooked up to my machines. While this one says it’s for Windows, it includes software for MacOS on the drive, and is plug-and-play compatible with it, no formatting required. I was easily able to upload multi-GB video files from my Windows 10 computer and share them with my MacBook Air. Playing video files directly off the drive worked without issue, even 7+ GB MKV-formatted files.

The first time I plugged this into my Windows 10 machine I did have to shut down my computer before I could safely remove the drive. However, on subsequent attempts I was able to remove it without issue. I did have one application default to saving files to it, instead of to my secondary internal drive, so you may want to double check where applications are saving to after plugging this in.

Speaking of plugging it in, the cable on this drive is short, just as it is with other drives. However, I’ve found that short cords are the best for portable drives.

With one of my Seagate Backup Plus Slim drives I ended up hooking it up to an AmazonBasics 4 Port USB, plugged into a Raspberry Pi. I’ve been using that to share files with other computers on my wireless network for a few years, and have experienced no issues with it. While I was initially going to connect this one to that hub, after using it for the last three weeks I think this may end up getting a padded case, and seeing travel, realizing this may shorten its life.

When it comes to the difference between Seagate and Western Digital for years of life, BackBlaze, which offers cloud storage, has significantly more Seagate drives than Western Digital. While they’ve also seen more Seagate drives, that’s to be expected when they have more in their pool. Personally, I keep going back to Seagate.

Considering the above, I’ve had no issues with this drive. Most hard drives require months and years of use for the best reviews, so I’ll be updating this as needed in the future. For now, I give the Seagate Expansion Portable 2TB External Hard Drive HDD, with USB 3.0 (STEA2000422) a full five of five stars; the minor issue of it being smooth in the hands, and therefore a little easier to slip out of your hand, isn’t a deal breaker when it won’t leave most people’s desks.