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September 19, 2008

It's kind of hard to get excited about external hard drives. That's not to say they're not useful, or that manufacturers haven't been doing their best to gussy up these bland, utilitarian devices in recent years.

Iomega eGo Helium

But at the end of the day, they're still hard drives, even if they're shaped like flasks, Legos—or even glowing black monoliths.

Now, Seagate and Iomega are taking this trend to its logical conclusion, cranking out drives that are not only attractive, but that also directly complement the overall look of a given PC or notebook. And, yes, most of those devices happen to be Macs.

Indeed, it's not really difficult to figure out which svelte Apple product Iomega's newly announced 320-GB eGO Helium is meant to be paired with. Even without seeing the drive itself, the name is a dead giveaway. Beyond looking a mini Macbook Air, the Helium comes formatted with Apple's HFS+ file system and also boasts a sleek anodized aluminum shell to complete the sexy package. And at just 0.63-inches thick, the drive's nearly as thin as the Air, too.

Then there's Seagate's new line of FreeAgent|Go drives. Perhaps a bit less obvious with their design ambitions, this line of drives is still meant as an attractive Mac side dish. With a brushed metal exterior, tiny blue lights that "breath" when the drive is sleeping, and your choice of 250-, 320- or 500-GBs of storage, the drives certainly won't offend the delicate aesthetic sensibilities of Mac users. 

Do you really need something attractive housing for your data or to shuttle the contents of your digital live from one computer to the other? Of course not. But when was gadget lust ever about need?

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