Published July 07, 2011
Seagate's GoFlex Satellite hard drive can store tons of data, saving precious space on your Apple (AAPL) iPad or other tablet. But is the wireless external hard drive for everyone?
"I don't think it's necessary for most average people," Wall Street Journal Personal Technology Columnist Walt Mossberg told FOX Business in his weekly All Things Digital segment.
"It's really for somebody that has a large media collection or perhaps never wants to be without a business document and yet they've kind of migrated a lot of their laptop use over to the iPad or one of the other tablets," he said.
The GoFlex has a capacity of 500GB, which can hold about 300 high-definition movies, Mossberg said. The drive is wireless, so it doesn't connect directly to the iPad. Instead, it sets up its own little Wi-Fi network, which you can connect your tablet to and stream music, photos, movies, etc. without needing the files physically on the device. And the drive is battery-powered, which is great for use on the go, he said.
There are some features that could use work, though. According to Mossberg, because the device works by putting out a Wi-Fi signal you must connect your tablet to, it makes it impossible to simultaneously connect to your home Wi-Fi network, so the Internet is essentially cut off. You're either connected to the drive or connected to the Internet.
Seagate has an app for the iPad that works with the drive (with one on the way for Google (GOOG) Android), which Mossberg found to be clean and well-organized. But he noted the app has some "strange limitations" in that there's no simple way to view photo slideshows or music playlists. He said these limitations could probably be addressed by Seagate, though, with some work on the software.
Finally, the drive isn't huge and doesn't need an external power supply, but it's still not as tiny as some users might like to be taken on the go. Ideally, Mossberg said, users would want to be able to easily fit the device in a pocket or a purse. He said the technology exists to do that right now using flash memory, but it's very expensive. Further, if it were cheap enough to go that route, the tablet makers would probably just put more capacity in the tablets to begin with, he added.