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Seagate Announce Mobile Hard Disk Drive

By Tony Ibrahim | Tuesday | 23/08/2011

Seagate announced a wireless hard-drive, granting users access to their multimedia and files wirelessly. Its GoFlex Satellite will communicate remotely with Wi-Fi compatible mobile phones, tablets and computers.

Freedom: The Seagate GoFlex transfers multimedia wirelessly
Capable of storing up to 500GB worth, the GoFlex Satellite uses Wi-Fi to transmit media to your phone, notebook or tablet without using any wires. It communicates over 80.211b/g/n wireless networks supporting a range of up to 45 metres.

Since it emits its own wireless network, it doesn't use internet data, so there are no nasty data costs. However, be warned that the connection operates on its own independent network, knocking you off your existing home network, resulting in no email and Skype traffic when in use. On the bright side, 3G capable devices avoid this simple inconvenience. 

The satellite hard drive can communicate with three devices simultaneously, offering easy access to Full HD videos, photos, music, documents and even a folder view.

Navigating through the satellite disk drive is optimised for Apple iOS and Android users, with Seagate's free GoFlex media app "manag[ing] content in a more elegant manner,"  says Seagate Senior VP Banseng Teh. When using the app, it will automatically analyse the type of media saved and categorise them accordingly, so that your music, videos and more are organised in one easy place. Alternatively, users can still navigate the hard disk's directory.

Although it works elegantly on an Android and Apple device, other devices can still access media wirelessly through their computer's browser.

Unfortunately though, transferring files still has to be done via its USB 3.0 connection, and cannot be written wirelessly. Even with this limitation, writing files to the hard drive is very quick and it's a short trade-off given it's the first wireless battery powered hard drive on the market.

Click to enlarge
GoFlex Media: The iPhone App used with Seagate's GoFlex Satellite

A password can be setup on the device so that random people don't check out your multimedia, simply by accessing the satellite's settings menu. It is something that has to be set up though, not coming with a predefined password out of the box.

Delivering power to the Satellite is a rechargeable lithium polymer battery capable of up to 5 hours of continuous use with a single device. As you'd expect, when being shared between more devices the battery life will shorten, and when in standby time it's tipped to last 25 hours.

It does come with a few useful accessories, including a mains charger, car charger, multiple adaptors to suit different countries and a USB cable.

The GoFlex Satellite is Seagate's response to rising tablet usage, as the dominating iPad fails to offer USB connectivity. With Tablets surging (and predicted to continue), the satellite will let media lovers bring their libraries with them, offering a mobile solution otherwise vacant.

 ""With the growth of the tablet and iPad markets and the larger volumes of high-quality media now being consumed, there is a clear need for access to content that is not plagued with the challenges of streamed video over the Internet," said VP Banseng Teh.

"The unfortunate fact is that these popular new mobile devices are hampered by their limited storage capacity while one of their primary functions is that of media consumption."

Although tablets can come with up to 64GB of internal memory, having a GoFlex at hand could prove advantageous, freeing up space on the device so it runs quicker and smoother, without compromising multimedia.

The GoFlex satellite will be available from September with a RRP of $219.


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