Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  New hard drives aren’t just about storage

New hard drives aren’t just about storage

various external memory drive

I’ve recently been testing a whole lot of hard drives, and, ordinarily, that would be about the most dull thing you can possibly do. A hard drive, after all, has one single and sole purpose, and that’s to store data. Sure, there’s some mild interest under the hood depending on whether they’re older, larger capacity mechanical drives or newer, smaller faster SSDs, but beyond that there’s not that much to get excited about. Hard drives are pure commodity items, especially when you look at hard drive prices, which, aside from a slight blip around the floods in Thailand in 2011, have been steadily tumbling.

That’s presumably why the few remaining hard drive manufacturers are starting to offer slightly more esoteric hard drive offerings to supplement the existing straight PC storage market. You can update the drive in some laptops, but the same isn’t true for sealed Ultrabooks, tablets, smartphones or smart TVs.

Seagate offers a storage solution I’ve tested out recently called the Wireless Plus. It’s a $229 1TB external hard drive, which, on the surface might make it seem like a ludicrously pricey option, were it not for the fact that it has inbuilt wireless capabilities. Why does that matter? Because, in combination with an inbuilt battery, this means it can act as a wireless hub to fixed storage devices such as smartphones and tablets, at which point the storage limitations of your device are pretty much eliminated. 1TB can store a lot of documents, be they serious work or simple entertainment. Still, there’s a premium price to pay, because it’s not uncommon to see 1TB drives for around $100.

Western Digital’s MyBook AV-TV is a little cheaper at around $179, but it’s also a distinctly targeted drive. The key hook here is for those with Smart TVs that have included recording ability out to external media drives. You simply plug the AV-TV into the USB port on a compatible TV (which is most Smart TV models), and aside from formatting to match the TV’s requirements, which typically means it’s not then readable by your PC, it’s good to go. Hit record on your remote and it’ll record what’s on air, scheduling should work, and so on. Western Digital’s claim with the AV-TV is that it’s built for constant 24/7 performance and sequential recording, which should help with maintaining recording quality. I tested with an LG Smart TV and found relatively few issues; probably the biggest problem is that with the particular single tuner model I used, it had to be on the recorded channel while running, which meant it couldn’t be used with other devices such as gaming consoles, or indeed anything that connects over HDMI.

The existence of specialised drives like these doesn’t meant that the ordinary external hard drive is likely to vanish. That’s still where storage firms make the bulk of their money, but as we shift towards devices that may talk to storage in different ways, it’s worth keeping in mind whether the drive you’re buying offers the best mix of performance, features and price for your chosen task.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Recent News

pc-clean

Most people, if given the choice, will try to skip out on doing the evening dishes, or for that matter even loading a dishwasher. It’s not exactly the most thrilling of chores to undertake, but if you don’t clean your dishes somehow, everything ends up dirty and unusable. It’s much the same story for your… More 

fb

Facebook is a service beloved by many, because it makes it so very easy to keep in touch with friends, family, acquaintances and more in an environment that’s generally easy to use and that can be quite fun. It’s one of the world’s busiest web sites, and one of the tech world’s most valuable companies…. More 

browsers

The chances are good that when you browse the web, you’re doing so via Google’s own particular browser, Google Chrome. Chrome has anywhere between 47% to 60% of the browser market sewn up. That might not seem that impressive, but the next largest market share is usually given to Apple’s Safari browser at between 13%… More 

mackeyboarda

Apple sells itself as a premium brand, both in style terms, but also for the quality of the computing equipment it sells. That’s a proposition that can very much become quasi-religious for some folks, although few would suggest that Apple sells bad computing equipment. Wherever you sit on that spectrum, there’s no doubting that consumers… More