|Seagate Wireless Plus Mobile Device Storage (Seagate)
A wireless portable hard drive has won the CNET Best of CES award for network and storage and highlights the growing need for alternatives to cloud storage for smartphone and tablet owners.
The SeaGate Wireless Plus mobile storage device offers a 1TB capacity, enough to hold up to 500 HD movies, and can stream content to up to eight smartphones or tablets simultaneously. Offering a battery life of 10 hours between charges and managed via an iOS or Android app, the device's popularity at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) reflects a growing need among mobile device users for extra capacity and immediate access to multimedia content.
Although there are a number of cloud-based solutions for consumer who want to access their music, film or photo libraries while on the move -- such as Google Drive, Apple's iCloud and Amazon's cloud storage -- these services are still in their infancy and can prove expensive for users who want more than 5GB of storage. Furthermore access is often limited to the user's country of origin when streaming rights-managed content such as music. Likewise, highlights from the latest global smartphone report from Deloitte, due to be officially published next week, include the fact that although the market for mobile devices continues to grow at an exponential rate, 40 percent of smartphone owners worldwide don't have any form of internet data plan and that 20 percent of owners in developed markets such as the US and western Europe admit to never having downloaded an app.
At 127x89x19.9mm and weighing 256g, the SeaGate Wireless Plus is roughly the same size as a Samsung Galaxy SIII (though twice as thick and almost twice as heavy) and therefore can be slipped into a pocket as easily as a bag and connects to a smartphone or tablet (or any other internet enabled device for that matter) by creating its own, secure wireless network.
SeaGate is not the only company with something to offer mobile device users. Transcend currently produces a range of superlight, superfast and admittedly low capacity (less than 100GB) wireless SSD hard drives, and Maxell offers an ingenious range of AirStash devices that integrate wi-fi and an SD memory expansion slot into USB flash drives for the ultimate in lightweight mobile storage.
The SeaGate Wireless Plus is due to officially go on sale in the US at the end of January priced at $199.99 the device is already available for pre-order.
The CNET 'Best of' awards are one of seven categories of sponsored honours at CES. Other awards include the Stuff magazine-sponsored Hot Stuff Awards (focused on innovative and aspirational gadgets) and the Sound and Vision Stars of CES awards, judged by What Hi-Fi? magazine.