If you're like most people, you probably never back up your PC or if you do, you it so rarely that it renders the act virtually useless. If you're one of the many who would really like to back up their data, but are intimidated by the tons of options out there, and just want a system, some magic object that just does it so you don't have to even think about it, the Seagate Replica is for you.
The Replica is an unassuming device, a thin portable hard drive that sits on a stand that connects to your PC via a USB cord. But its oblong exterior contains a robust hard disk (either 250 or 500GB, $129 and $179, respectively) that's insanely simple to use. How simple? Like, idiot-proof simple. Like, two-click simple. Like, "I'd give the zombies in Dawn of the Dead an even chance of using this" simple.
My hands-on report using the Replica after the brains… I mean, the jump.
Like I said, you might be able to make the Replica's setup process more complicated, but I don't see how. First, connect it. Second, tell Windows to run the setup software onboard — one click in a pop-up menu. Lastly, click "Agree" on the license agreement (seriously, does anyone click "I don't agree" on these things?). You're done. The Replica will now backup your entire drive. This takes a little while, but when you're done, the drive's icon will appear in your taskbar, and recovering files is but a few clicks away.
What if you have a complete hard-disk failure? The Replica's still got you covered, but you'll need the CD-ROM that came in the box. That disc lets you boot up your machine and recover your drive's full-system image that the Replica has stored.
If the Seagate has any weakness it's versatility. You can't use it as a normal hard disk, and it has exactly one connector, the mini USB port. It's also not Mac-compatible, but current OS X users can use Time Machine, so they don't have much to complain about. This is for anyone who just wants PC backup that they can turn on and forget about. The Replica is available May 4.