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Seagate's pocketable, self-powered Wireless Plus HDD streams content to multiple iOS devices

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
I never really thought I'd ever see people lining up to check out a wireless hard drive under under glass, on display like the Hope Diamond. Then again, I never thought I'd see a man wearing an Abe Lincoln costume and a steampunk arm-mounted email machine concept. I saw both at Macworld.

Seagate Wireless Plus


The wireless hard drive was Seagate's Wireless Plus ($199.99, Amazon), an external HDD built to be compatible with today's mobile devices. The idea is that you load it up with all the media you otherwise couldn't fit onto your iPhone or iPad and carry both devices around with you, so you never have to choose between HD movies and photos of your loved ones again.

The Wireless Plus packs a 1TB hard drive, Wi-Fi and USB 3.0 connectivity and an internal battery providing up to 10 hours of operation into a small portable package. Explaining to the crowd assembled to gawk at the device, the attendant said it can support up to eight simultaneous users. With eight people connected, three of those can stream HD movies from the device, while the other five can still entertain themselves by browsing pictures and streaming music.

Front View


It comes with its own app, which also allows users to dump content from an iPad or iPhone's internal storage directly to the drive. That's not going to work for content purchased through iTunes, but it will work for things like photos and videos taken with the device.

Seeing the Wireless Plus in action is honestly underwhelming, but only if you don't think about what's going on. It's an app streaming content from a wireless hard drive. It stalls a bit initially, likely as it's buffering, but then it plays smoothly. It's even AirPlay-compatible, allowing you to stream content from the drive to a device and push from that device to an Apple TV. It's not flashy and astounding; it's a hard drive, but a very competently realized one.

Sloth View


And yet it had drawn a crowd, albeit a thinning one for the moment. I stepped forward to ask my own questions. Yes, the Wireless Plus might be fine for streaming content from a drive, but could your iOS device stay connected to the Internet while doing so, since it has to join the Wireless Plus' network in order to access content?

There's this look that tech attendants get when they've been flummoxed, a sort of resigned acceptance that ? for one brief moment ? you've pierced the marketing speak and cut to the quick. I could have sworn I saw that look right then.

"Good question," he replied, "it used to be that you couldn't do that, but we made it this year so that the hard drive can join an external wireless network and share its connection with any mobile device accessing content from it."

Side View


To sum up: one terabyte of storage, accessible by up to eight simultaneous users. Ten hours of battery life, and the ability to share its Internet connection so that mobile devices stay connected while browsing content. Works with iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire devices, as well as Samsung Smart TVs. It's got a couple of awards, too: Best of Show at Macworld, as well as Best Innovation for Computer Accessories at this year's CES. Both of these seem pretty well deserved from what I've seen of it in operation.
post #2 of 51
Cool.

So will we stop getting incessant demands for USB ports or Compact Flash ports on iPhones?
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post #3 of 51
I'm not sure it will be popular but it looks like Seagate has made a product with no obvious shortcomings.

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post #4 of 51
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Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Cool.

So will we stop getting incessant demands for USB ports or Compact Flash ports on iPhones?

Yes because it makes so much more sense to carry this big thing around. This makes more sense in a home environment where multiple devices can access it.
Edited by dasanman69 - 2/1/13 at 7:49pm
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post #5 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm not sure it will be popular but it looks like Seagate has made a product with no obvious shortcomings.

It could be but not at that price. You can buy a 1 TB drive for $89 and because this one is wireless it costs $110 more? It is nice though. You can have your own personal cloud within your home that up to 8 devices can access.
Edited by dasanman69 - 2/1/13 at 7:52pm
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post #6 of 51
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Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

It could be but not at that price. You can buy a 1 TB drive for $89 and because this one is wireless it costs $110 more?

I dont think it's unreasonable price. There's a fair amount of difficulty there. You have to consider the battery too. Being able to serve up to eight devices wirelessly for ten hours on a single charge, that's pretty impressive.
post #7 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Yes because it makes so much more sense to carry this big thing around. This makes more sense in a home environment where multiple devices can access it.

 

Yes, it makes absolutely more sense, taking into account the percentage of people that actually need external storage for an iOS device. The vast majority don't, and for those that do, this DOES have alot more advantages over an SD card, including wireless streaming and access. Apple doesn't tries not to build hardware components into its products that only a minority might use, and thats the right way to do it. Sales of iOS devices has proven that noone is clamoring for card storage. 

post #8 of 51
Just waiting for the modders to add Eye-Fi capability to this...
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Yes, it makes absolutely more sense, taking into account the percentage of people that actually need external storage for an iOS device. The vast majority don't, and for those that do, this DOES have alot more advantages over an SD card, including wireless streaming and access. Apple doesn't tries not to build hardware components into its products that only a minority might use, and thats the right way to do it. Sales of iOS devices has proven that noone is clamoring for card storage. 

Let's be fair, if the iPhone had a SD card slot everyone would use it, but I can't argue with this not having advantages over a SD card.
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post #10 of 51
I guess given the absence of removable storage for iDevices, some people will find it useful to access more storage on the go.

I got a much smaller device (but obviously without the in-built storage) originally launched through Kickstarter, that enables you to attach usb storage devices to it and then shares them through wifi and their own iOS app.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/125911486/cloudftp-wirelessly-share-any-usb-storage-with-ipa
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I dont think it's unreasonable price. There's a fair amount of difficulty there. You have to consider the battery too. Being able to serve up to eight devices wirelessly for ten hours on a single charge, that's pretty impressive.

This is quite sophisticated. I'm surprised it can connect so many people. I wonder if it can really do simultaneous streaming of 3 HD videos. I look forward to any real world testing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Let's be fair, if the iPhone had a SD card slot everyone would use it, but I can't argue with this not having advantages over a SD card.

I certainly wouldn't use it and if it's so widely used with non-iPhone devices then why has on-board NAND creeped up from being barely enough to fit the OS to be large enough to hold entire libraries of data?
Edited by SolipsismX - 2/1/13 at 8:21pm

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post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I dont think it's unreasonable price. There's a fair amount of difficulty there. You have to consider the battery too. Being able to serve up to eight devices wirelessly for ten hours on a single charge, that's pretty impressive.

It is impressive but I have my doubts that it can last 10 hours with so many devices accessing it.
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post #13 of 51
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Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

It is impressive but I have my doubts that it can last 10 hours with so many devices accessing it.

WiFi is pretty power efficient. if the HDD is spinning for one device or 8 I don't see it using much more power but I do question that a spinning drive can keep up with 3 different HD videos being streamed at once. I say HD because modern phones can handle that content.



edit: typos
Edited by SolipsismX - 2/1/13 at 8:20pm

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post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Yes because it makes so much more sense to carry this big thing around. This makes more sense in a home environment where multiple devices can access it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

It could be but not at that price. You can buy a 1 TB drive for $89 and because this one is wireless it costs $110 more? It is nice though. You can have your own personal cloud within your home that up to 8 devices can access.

 

It's for travel.  Good luck running your $89 1 TB drive for seven hours without an outlet while providing wifi access of hd streams to 3 devices.  

post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

It is impressive but I have my doubts that it can last 10 hours with so many devices accessing it.

Probably not. It's probably one device for ten hours. But it seems like a pretty new technology. The best comparable is a Patriot Gauntlet enclosure, $110 list w/o hard drive. I guess some site would need to try both out to see if the little extra is worth it or not, and whether the Seagate's smaller size sacrifices anything, etc.
post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Probably not. It's probably one device for ten hours. But it seems like a pretty new technology. The best comparable is a Patriot Gauntlet enclosure, $110 list w/o hard drive. I guess some site would need to try both out to see if the little extra is worth it or not, and whether the Seagate's smaller size sacrifices anything, etc.

I think not allowing iTunes content on it is a big negative. This plus a iPad mini would make a lot more sense to a DJ than using a MBP.
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post #17 of 51
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


WiFi is pretty power efficient. if the HDD is spinning for one device or 8 I don't see it using much more power but I do question that a spinning drive can keep up with 8 different HD videos being streamed at once. I say HD because modern phones can handle that content.

 

Can you guys not read the article.  Three devices can have HD streams.  The other 5 can get music and pictures.

 

There are many reviews on the net because the prior model (GoFlex Satellite) had 500MB for $199 and USB2.  So this is a very nice update and test so far show about a 7-8 hour battery life under load.  The old one has been heavily modded and the new one is easier (hardware wise) to get into so you can swap in a SSD if you like:

 

http://www.hackseagatesatellite.com/wordpress/2013/01/29/new-seagate-wireless-plus-teardown/

post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


Probably not. It's probably one device for ten hours. But it seems like a pretty new technology. The best comparable is a Patriot Gauntlet enclosure, $110 list w/o hard drive. I guess some site would need to try both out to see if the little extra is worth it or not, and whether the Seagate's smaller size sacrifices anything, etc.

 

This is better than the Patriot.  It's not new.

 

"With the Wireless Plus, Seagate has resolved every issue we had with its original wireless hard drive. Best of all, it doubled the storage, while keeping the price at $199. While the Patriot Gauntlet 320 is certainly capable, Seagate's Wireless Plus lasts longer on a charge, offers more than twice the storage for just $40 more, and has a more intuitive and robust app. If you're looking to take all of your content with you, the Wireless Plus is the way to go."

 

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/wireless/seagate-wireless-plus.aspx

post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm not sure it will be popular but it looks like Seagate has made a product with no obvious shortcomings.

It must just be me but in thirty plus years of using hard drives from many vendors Seagate have been far and away the most unreliable.
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post #20 of 51
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Originally Posted by nht View Post

Can you guys not read the article.

Can? Yes. Do I? Kinda. I usually skim them. My interest is mostly with the forum members and their comments.

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post #21 of 51
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Originally Posted by nht View Post

It's for travel.  Good luck running your $89 1 TB drive for seven hours without an outlet while providing wifi access of hd streams to 3 devices.  
Quite. It's probably very niche, but great for travel. The hassle of cleaning out iOS devices and stocking them up with relevant fresh content gets tiresome. Now I can fill this thing with music and movies, once, and everybody's happy. Specially me. Will I buy it. Probably not.
post #22 of 51
Two things:

- I think this will be popular with families during travel and while at home that have an iOS device for each person

I'll bet if they put a SSD in this, the power consumption and stream times would improve amazingly...of coarse driving up the price though!
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

It could be but not at that price. You can buy a 1 TB drive for $89 and because this one is wireless it costs $110 more? It is nice though. You can have your own personal cloud within your home that up to 8 devices can access.
$199 is the msrp. It'll be $140-150 on amazon a few weeks after release (maybe on release if demand isn't huge)- making it much more enticing.

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post #24 of 51
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Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

$199 is the msrp. It'll be $140-150 on amazon a few weeks after release (maybe on release if demand isn't huge)- making it much more enticing.

I was thinking along the same lines, and hope that is the case.
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post #25 of 51
"It comes with its own app, which also allows users to dump content from an iPad or iPhone's internal storage directly to the drive. That's not going to work for content purchased through iTunes, but it will work for things like photos and videos taken with the device."

According to one review on Amazon, getting content from iTunes to the Seagate is as simple as a drag and drop.
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post #26 of 51

This will be amazing for people filming the police doing illegal shit - couple of guys with backpacks containing these drives standing quietly in the crowd whilst the cameramen make themselves obvious.

 

Seizing the cameras no longer wipes the evidence, as the wireless backpack users blend into the background and slip away...

post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyapple View Post

"It comes with its own app, which also allows users to dump content from an iPad or iPhone's internal storage directly to the drive. That's not going to work for content purchased through iTunes, but it will work for things like photos and videos taken with the device."

According to one review on Amazon, getting content from iTunes to the Seagate is as simple as a drag and drop.

From iTunes on an iDevice or iTunes on a Mac/PC?
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

I was thinking along the same lines, and hope that is the case.

Given the old model is $189 on Amazon that might take a while.

I have no clue why you guys think $200 for a wireless NAS with a 7-10 hour battery is overpriced or unattractive.
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinjo235 View Post

Two things:

- I think this will be popular with families during travel and while at home that have an iOS device for each person

I'll bet if they put a SSD in this, the power consumption and stream times would improve amazingly...of coarse driving up the price though!

Yes families and once hacked for reliable eyefi use many other folks.

If you want a SSD Kingston now has a 128GB version of their Wi-Drive for $170 but it is still USB 2

http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Wi-Drive-Pocket-Sized-WID-128GB-A/dp/B00AI922DQ/ref=pd_sim_pc_6
post #30 of 51
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Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

From iTunes on an iDevice or iTunes on a Mac/PC?

She said on her iPad.
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post #31 of 51

It seems like a cool device but all I can think of looking at those pictures is what a horrible display it is.  

 

I know they are just small details and most of the Aspergers infected crowd will be unaware, but just a few minutes of attention could have made it look as good as it works.  Clarity and simplicity of presentation is important because even if there are only a few in the crowd like me that are bothered by it, you are still intentionally bothering some portion of your prospective audience for no reason other than laziness.  

post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


It could be but not at that price. You can buy a 1 TB drive for $89 and because this one is wireless it costs $110 more?...

 

This is a bit of a silly comment when we are talking about something barely out of the prototype stage.  The worlds "first" anything always costs big bucks.  


Edited by Gazoobee - 2/2/13 at 8:07am
post #33 of 51

Wait a minute ... I thought from the article that this was "wireless" and "self-powered."   It's not at all.  

 

Sure it has a battery inside, but it has a SATA connection on the back and a power plug on the side.  This will be plugged in almost all the time when it's used at home.

 

If that's the case, one might save a heck of a lot of money (as well as effort, time, complexity and futzing around), to just buy a USB device to plug into the Airport Extreme.  Same thing, less money/complexity etc. 

 

I revise my opinion from "cool" to "meh" on this one. 

post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Cool.

So will we stop getting incessant demands for USB ports or Compact Flash ports on iPhones?
What incessant demands? It seems that protests about such alleged demands are far from frequent.
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Wait a minute ... I thought from the article that this was "wireless" and "self-powered."   It's not at all.  

Sure it has a battery inside, but it has a SATA connection on the back and a power plug on the side.  This will be plugged in almost all the time when it's used at home.

If that's the case, one might save a heck of a lot of money (as well as effort, time, complexity and futzing around), to just buy a USB device to plug into the Airport Extreme.  Same thing, less money/complexity etc. 

I revise my opinion from "cool" to "meh" on this one. 

By your definition, there is no such thing as a wireless or self-powered device.
post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Yes because it makes so much more sense to carry this big thing around. This makes more sense in a home environment where multiple devices can access it.

It does hardly look pocketable.
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Yes because it makes so much more sense to carry this big thing around. This makes more sense in a home environment where multiple devices can access it.

 

 

Although it looks a bit fat, I agree, I can see this in my backpack easily. 

post #38 of 51

I will wait until it is SDD and wireless ac

post #39 of 51

This does seem to signal a somewhat innovative direction for wireless storage.

post #40 of 51

So everyone's just going to tiptoe around the elephant in the room? The article teased us with a steampunk Abraham Lincoln and did not deliver!

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