Hitachi tries to 'redefine' external hard drives with LifeStudio series

Hitachi tries to 'redefine' external hard drives with LifeStudio series

Summary: Hitachi has debuted the LifeStudio portable hard drive series, which the company boasts will "redefine external storage." That's a lot to live up to, but the LifeStudio drives are definitely more than your basic HDDs.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Hardware, Storage
9

Hitachi has debuted the LifeStudio portable hard drive series, which the company boasts will "redefine external storage." That's a lot to live up to, but the LifeStudio drives are definitely more than your basic HDDs.

The LifeStudio HDDs feature a unique design, that is both glossy and modern, and some are somewhat complex. For example, anything with the tag name "Mobile" has a 2.5-inch detachable hard drive that fits comfortably into the cradle, while any of these models also toting the name "Plus" also sport a USB drive. That USB key is extra special since it discretely hosts a 4GB microSD card slot, which can hold up to 32GB.

[Image Gallery: Hitachi Mobile LifeStudio Plus]

Compatible with both Mac and PC systems, it is the software that really makes buying one of these LifeStudio drives a lifestyle choice. The LifeStudio sorting software comes preloaded on every drive with a 3D interface wall meant to organize and categorize multimedia in an aesthetically pleasing way. Based on the screenshot, it reminds me a bit of the Picasa software layout - just a lot flashier with more intense graphics. And like most media software programs rolling out these days, there's direct uploading access to Facebook and Flickr.

For extra back-up protection, users can opt to subscribe to the LifeStudio digital cloud space. Actually, everyone with one of these Hitachi drives will get 3GB of online storage for free. If that isn't enough, you can upgrade to 250GB for $49 per year.

The downside to the LifeStudio series is that it is only USB 2.0-compatible, and there is only a single USB port.

Pricing ranges from $79.99 for a 250GB LifeStudio Mobile to as high as $219.99 for the 2TB LifeStudio Desk Plus.

Topics: Hardware, Storage

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

9 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • More bloatware

    More junk preloaded.
    Some drives have bloatware that cannot be removed so be careful. I had to do some research to find a 1 tb drive that is clean. I found one with a 7 year warranty.
    MoeFugger
    • RE: Hitachi tries to 'redefine' external hard drives with LifeStudio series

      @MoeFugger Agreed.

      I want clean drives. Not junk drives with stuff preloaded.
      CobraA1
  • Not really all that spectacular.

    In general cooliris can already access local files, and do exactly what is shown in the screenshot. Problem is, that it tends to be resource intensive.

    The thing is Fugly as h*ll.

    The online data protection is sub-par as many like Mozi and Crashplan do not limit how much data the user can backup online. It is unlimited for about $50 per month.

    So unless it is light based storage on a crystal that will hold pedabytes of data, this really isn't a game change, nor is it even compelling.
    Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
  • Sounds to me like

    Hitachi is trying to redefine the word "redefine" ;)
    bmgoodman
  • RE: Hitachi tries to 'redefine' external hard drives with LifeStudio series

    Sh*t like this is made for people who worry about form as much or more than function. I say good let them pay extra for nothing of value and I will buy the plain vanilla stuff that works just as good or better for half the price.
    atmusky
    • Yeah, but

      @atmusky I don't really find Hitachi's offerings compelling either, but can you really get a plain vanilla 2TB external drive for $110--that you would entrust your data to? If so, let us know where to get this "half the price" deal.
      frabjous
      • RE: Hitachi tries to 'redefine' external hard drives with LifeStudio series

        @frabjous: Well, almost -- I got a 2 TB Fantom GreenDrive for $119. Only USB 2, but that's fine for a backup drive. Better than plain vanilla: it's quiet and runs cool, spools down when not in use, and has a hefty aluminum case.
        jpdemers@...
  • RE: Hitachi tries to 'redefine' external hard drives with LifeStudio series

    Expensive device loaded with unneeded crapware. Definately not new or exciting and redefines nothing. Not even USB3 or eSata. Old technology in a shiny package.
    JustAITGuy
  • RE: Hitachi tries to 'redefine' external hard drives with LifeStudio series

    for me it's very similar to last external USB drives from WD.
    but another interesting: this new external USB drives from WD and from Hitachi now sizing upto 2Tb in 2.5" form factor - but there is no SATA 2.5" larger than 750gb from the same maker (from any HDD maker!) - what dos it mean?
    iandrew@...