I just bought my first tablet last month before heading out to a tradeshow. It was a great way to check email on the road without hauling around a notebook computer (you see, I don't have a smartphone ). Anyway, although I totally appreciate its coolness factor, I admit, it is now vastly underused. Probably because most of my day is chained to my desktop, I have no desire to boot up the iPad later in the evening. Well, maybe just to check the weather report.
Anyway, I am intrigued by this article in the Wall Street Journal, The Satellite: Extra Storage for Tablets on the Go. Seems that there are a number of people who are running out of storage on their tablets. I have a friend who solves this problem using Dropbox. But these portable Wi-Fi enabled hard drives are definitely intriguing. Especially for someone like me who is still a bit suspicious of the security in "the cloud." This article in the WSJ particularly focuses on the Seagate Satellite but also looks at Hitachi's new G-Connect. Was wondering if anyone out there has one of these, has used one, or designed one. What do you think of it?
After following the links and reading some of the comments there, I have to agree with many of the posts. A WiFi HDD is merely a kluge to attempt to overcome the deficiencies of some tablets. If they were built with a USB or SD interface in the first place, then WiFi HDD devices would not be required.
As a frequent traveller, I doubt the airlines would allow me to turn on a WiFi device so I can stream a movie or music. In addition, at 32,000 feet, the only clouds I can connect with are the ones floating past the window. Not very practical on a 12 hour flight.
Building upon edgewing's comments, a WiFi HDD that automatically syncs with your camera would be a useful item. To have your pictures immediately back themselves up on one of these drives would be a killer app that I'm sure all of us would find practical.
I don't expect the Seagate device to sell many due to the limitation of not being able to surf and stream simultaneously. Since many people upload pictures to social networking sites, taking the extra steps to tranferring the picture to the tablet first then disconnecting the drive and reconnecting to WiFi (internet) to upload pictures is painful to say the least. The Hitachi G-Connect addresses this limitation and will likely win out in the end.
500Gb is great for transferring stuff off your camera to a hard drive. Provides a second place to back them up. As for recharging, there are some really light, good devices designed specifically for recharging usb devices on the go. Even with the batter dead you are still not going to lose your data though.
User Truecrypt along with DropBox/SugarSync to solve the security problem. I am not sure whether they have iOS client. The thing that concerns me about this WiFi HDDs are
1) Once the battery drains out you cant use the storage.
2) Need to carry/charge another device.
3)Do we really need like 500GB storage for a tablet?
4)once connected to a WiFi HDD you cant simultaneously use the WiFi to connect to internet.
Are you seeing this newborn love among "makers," board vendors, and chip companies? What mystifies me is not so much the love part, but how anyone could eventually mistake this infatuation for good business.