TRAVEL TECH | Seagate’s latest space-saving and rugged portable hard drives hit the shelves this week, along with 'personal cloud' systems that you can leave at home but access from abroad.
Kicking things off is the Seagate Seven 500GB drive ($189), the case of which is designed to mimic the shape of an internal hard disk drive.
At just 7mm deep and weighing 172g – six grams less than an iPhone 6 Plus – the drive slips into the smallest space in your carry-on laptop bag, and connects to a notebook or desktop via a high-speed USB 3 cable.
A different twist is the Seagate Wireless 500GB hotspot ($189), allowing you to bring your full HD media library along for the ride and stream it wirelessly to up to three iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows and Mac OS devices at a time via the free Seagate Media app.
The built-in battery pack provides up to six hours of juice, which makes it particularly handy at trade shows and in older-style hotel rooms where power points are often at a premium.
Prefer something a little more stylish? The glass-encased LaCie Mirror 1TB drive is yours for $429, with a scratch-resistant exterior that’s designed to complement a glass-topped office desk.
It comes with an ebony wood stand, protective carrying pouch and also a cleaning cloth, as glass surfaces are a virtual magnet for fingerprints.
Travellers prone to dropping their kit or who work around mining and industrial sites would do better with the 4TB LaCie Rugged RAID device (price TBA). It's made to resist damage from shocks, dust and water with both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connectivity.
A pair of 2TB drives inside the one unit lets users opt for ‘RAID 0’ technology – storing some of your data on drive #1 and some on drive #2 – or ‘RAID 1’ mode, which keeps a single set of data mirrored across both drives, so that if one hard drives fails or is damaged, all your work remains safe on the duplicate drive.
Prefer to travel light? Leave a Seagate Personal Cloud or Personal Cloud 2-Bay device at home or in the office and wire it up to the Internet. You’ll have access to all of your personal files from anywhere in the world but without carrying a physical hard drive with you.
Both support video streaming via the Seagate Media app, and are a great way to keep your files backed up while avoiding a commercial cloud storage service.
The 2-Bay variant also supports the same RAID technology found in the LaCie Rugged device, which can be configured to quite literally keep a backup of your backup, or to boost your storage space with two hard drives.
The Seagate Personal Cloud retails at $299 for 3TB, $349 for 4TB and $469 for 5TB, while the Seagate Personal Cloud 2-Bay sells at $619 for 4TB, $739 for 6TB and $999 for 8TB.
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