Review: LifeStudio Mobile Plus external hard drive
--Product: LifeStudio Mobile Plus external hard drive, by Hitachi --Features: This portable hard drive comes in 320 GB or 500 GB of storage. Has a separate 4GB USB flash drive that magnetically attaches to the center of the unit. Works with Windo...
--Product: LifeStudio Mobile Plus external hard drive, by Hitachi
--Features: This portable hard drive comes in 320 GB or 500 GB of storage. Has a separate 4GB USB flash drive that magnetically attaches to the center of the unit. Works with Windows and Mac. Saves up to 100 copies of the previous backups. Comes with software to automatically back up documents to the hard drive. Hitachi also offers 3GB of free online storage (and can be expanded with a subscription).
Also has Cooliris software that presents your computer's media into a three-dimensional-style scrolling wall, sorted by date. Cooliris also pulls in videos, pictures, news and games from various websites for browsing and sharing on social networks.
--Price: Listed at $119.99 for the 320 GB model, and $139.99 for 500 GB.
--Ups: Plug it in, open the backup software, and it automatically backs up your documents. You can also specify any other folders you would like backed up.
The Cooliris software is visually impressive, automatically combing through your system's photos, music and videos and displaying them on a scrollable 3D-style wall. One click can post a photo to your social network, and it also pulls in photos on Facebook, Flickr and Picasa.
--Downs: Considering this product's software is unusual, it should have come with a user's manual, rather than having me sit through several promotional demo videos to learn what it does.
The Cooliris software has minor bugs, such as a broken link to set up a Cooliris user account. It also doesn't let you specify which folders you don't want included in this collection of life's memories ... like Windows wallpapers, or system help-file images, which found their way into my photo memories.
--Bottom line: It gets points for creativity with Cooliris media display, and points for effortless backup. But the Cooliris software isn't something I find practical for everyday use -- it's showy and extraneous software -- and in some cases the add-ons make the unit more expensive than other backup drives. But the backup portion works well, and considering it comes with a bonus 4GB USB flash drive, it's a good buy if you find it on sale.