• Hard drives, while a necessity, aren’t exactly a product that warrants much fervored discussion.  However, Segate’s latest GoFlex Satellite hard drive is a new breed of storage thanks to built-in WiFi and a battery, and it’s, well, kind of exciting.

    The Seagate GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage, model STBF500101, can store up to 500GB of data, and while it is geared largely towards iPad users, it can be used by any tablet, laptop or computer with a built-in WiFi or USB connection.

    The enclosure of the drive is all plastic, so it’s not the sleekest or most svelte of drives that I’ve seen from Seagate, but that’s a caveat I’m willing to accept given the unique feature set.

    Two small LED lights adorn the face of the drive indicating wireless status and remaining battery power.  A recessed power button is embedded on the edge of the drive and sits adjacent to the LED lights.  On the opposite side is a 5V DC port, which unfortunately is not mini or micro-USB.  Nonetheless, Seagate has provide not only a USB wall wart for charging the internal battery, but an unusually handy and small car adapter that isn’t any larger than a mini Bic lighter.

    Much like all of Seagate GoFlex line of hard drives, there is a proprietary port that is covered by a small plastic flap.  Remove it and you can plug in the included USB 3.0 cable.  The cover is small and black, so I could see myself easily losing it in the depths of my bag.

    The internals of the drive have been designed to be extra rugged.  Drop it or give the drive a sudden jolt while the spindle is rotating and it will automatically lock into place to prevent any damage to your data. However, I’m not sure I can say the same for the plastic casing.

    Accessing the drive takes about 45-60 seconds, but once connected it is as simple as opening your web browser and punching in any URL; by default your browser will redirect to the drive’s built-in menu system.  If you’re accessing the drive from an iOS device, you can use the aforementioned method or download the accompanying app from the iTunes store.  Both are a mirror images of one and other, though the app is useful since in theory it speeds things up a bit for an iOS device since it doesn’t have to waste seconds downloading additional data.  On the other hand you can upload a file to the drive when accessing it from a computer, something not available in the iOS app.  Simply navigate to “folder view” where upon an upload button will appear.

    A variety of tabs divide up the drive’s content by type.  So if it’s an MP3 files it will be listed under “music”, if a MOV file then under “videos” and so forth.    Unfortunately, the drive’s firmware hasn’t been designed to catalogue files and more importantly music using the embeded MP3 ID3 tags. As a result you’ll have to manually search and painstakingly crawl through you library to locate a track, though there is a search feature.

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