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Mega-gigs at a mini price

John Davidson (via SMH) | April 5, 2013
For $249 on top of the cost of your iPad or other tablet or phone, you could buy a 1 terabyte Seagate Wireless Plus.

Of course, you can actually physically attach the Wireless Plus to your PC, too, using the USB 3.0 cable and connection that comes with the drive.

Doing it that way is vastly preferable because USB 3.0 is a gazillion times faster than Wi-Fi, especially the slightly older 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi standards the Wireless Plus uses. It took us seven minutes 30 seconds to upload a 1 gigabyte file to the Wireless Plus from a PC over Wi-Fi, but only 11 seconds to upload that same file using USB 3.0.

The point of the device, though, is not to attach it to your PC (except for when you're uploading media) but rather to attach it to your iPad, iPhone, Android or other mobile device.

You do that by first logging your iPad onto the Wi-Fi network that the Wireless Plus broadcasts, and then running that aforementioned app, which you can then use to play any media files the app finds on the hard disk. Or, if you don't have the app, you can use your web browser (the Seagate has its own web server built in) and play the files that way.

The point is, you can't use your regular media-playing apps to play the files on the Seagate, but rather you're stuck with the Seagate app or web server. That's the only downside we found with this excellent little storage device: the apps and the web server are nicely designed and terribly easy to use, but they won't play every file format. MKV files we tested, for instance, couldn't play in the app - they needed to be downloaded to the tablet first and then played by a more capable app. It means there can be a five or 10-minute delay before you can watch the file you selected, but it's not the end of the world. It's worth the hassle for the money you save.



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