We pick our highlights of the product unveilings, bringing you the essential news from the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas (January 6 -11).
What it is: Seagate’s Wireless Plus second-generation wireless external hard drive.
Key features: A 1Tb external hard drive with built-in Wi-Fi and a battery that can last for 10 hours. Content on the drive can be streamed to up to eight tablets or smartphones at once. A new feature allows files on such devices to be wirelessly saved to the drive. A USB interface is also included.
Solid-state drives are all the rage with laptops like the Macbook Air and its Ultrabook rivals utilising them for their speed and battery-saving features. But capacities are still limited and prices much higher than slower traditional hard drives.
Seagate offers a middle way with its Momentus XT hybrid drive – mixing solid-state memory with the traditional spinning platter – and has sold 1m of the drives since it came up with the new category last year (the company says its 2007 Momentus PSD drive doesn’t really count).
Can storage ever be sexy? Well, slap on Wi-Fi capabilities and a wireless media server to an external hard drive and it can start to look damned attractive. That’s what Hitachi has done with its G-Connect 500Gb external drive launched today – the Wi-Fi lets the drive act as a local mini-cloud for serving movies, music and photos to iPads and other devices that lack its huge capacity to store media.
Anyone buying a 16Gb iPad and finding it full to the brim with videos and music in no time at all may experience a little buyers’ remorse at not going for a bigger capacity.
There is no means of expanding the iPad’s internal Flash memory once bought, but a groundbreaking wireless hard drive from Seagate launched today provides one effective way of getting round storage limitations not just on the iPad but on any Wi-Fi enabled device.
Anyone buying a 16Gb iPad and finding it full to the brim with videos and music in no time at all may experience a little buyers’ remorse at not going for a bigger capacity. There is no means of expanding the iPad’s internal Flash memory once bought, but a groundbreaking wireless hard drive from Seagate launched today provides one effective way of getting round storage limitations not just on the iPad but on any Wi-Fi enabled device.
With Western Digital and Seagate Technology fighting a neck-and-neck battle to be the world’s leading hard-drive maker, Hitachi is appearing as a dark horse in third with a new range of external drive products.
Its LifeStudio series, available in stores from Friday, is its first foray into more consumer-friendly products and includes some unusual hardware and software features.
External hard drives and their new flexibility are the subject of this week’s Personal Technology column in the Business Life section of the FT:
“I have been testing a new 500Gb portable hard drive, the FreeAgent GoFlex Pro from Seagate, which brings the concept of modular design to data storage and enables each drive to be customised to a user’s changing requirements by selecting from an array of cables and desktop adapters.”
While Apple figures out what to do with its languishing Apple TV – it quietly dropped its 40Gb model on Monday leaving only the 160Gb version – there are plenty of other contenders scrapping to bring networked content to the big living-room screen.
Among them – FreeAgent Theater+, announced by Seagate today as an improved version of the unit it launched only six months ago.
(This review was first published on September 15 2009)
Bill Watkins’ brain has still not been reformatted since he left Seagate and his chief executive post in January, in a management reshuffle at the world’s leading hard-drive maker.
He has carried on thinking about hard drives and, in March, joined the board of Vertical Circuits, a neighbour to Seagate in Scotts Valley and a company he had followed closely, out of interest in the trend towards Flash memory and solid-state drives (SSDs).