If you have an iPad but keep filling it up,
this could be ideal: an external hard disk with its own wireless chip and iOS
There's little innovation when it comes to
external hard disks these days, so we're pleased to see products like Seagate's
GoFlex Satellite Wireless arriving on the market. Its 500GB capacity is nothing
to shout about, but we're more interested in its other key features.
The main selling point is its wireless
connectivity, which is used to connect to the iPad, iPhone and any Android
device in order to stream media - perfect if you have an iOS device that
doesn't have expandable memory and you're keen on using it to watch movies.
It works with Macs and PCs too, and it's
easy enough to get started. Before using its wireless features, you'll have to
connect the Seagate to a PC by using its USB 3.0 connection. That's accessed by
removing a flap on the side of the drive, and Seagate provides an adapter to
plug into the SATA-style plug underneath.
PCs and Macs initially recognise the
Seagate as a standard external drive, so it can be loaded with files, and its
wireless capabilities only come into their own when it's unplugged. The 802.11n
chip inside broadcasts as its own wireless network, and you'll need to either
download a free app or visit a Seagate-hosted web page to allow access to the
device and its files.
Whichever way the Seagate is accessed, the
software functions similarly. A menu on the left-hand side offers links to
videos, photographs, documents, music and other files, and clicking on each
category brings up a list of files on the right-hand side.
The Seagate didn't falter when it came to
handling the content involved. HD movies played without issue, music started
quickly, and the only problems we had with other files were borne from iOS's
The only issue we had with the Seagate, in
fact, was the lack of in-depth options: the Settings menu in the variety of
apps only allows for booting, restarting, changing the name of the device and
adding a password. It's sure to leave power users frustrated.
Files played without issue, but the
Seagate's USB 3.0 connection isn't particularly impressive. It handled our
large write and read benchmarks at 73.1 MB/s and 68.2MB/S, which isn't exactly
impressive, and its small file write and read results of 22.6MB/S and 24.8MB/S
aren't exactly quick either. Those results are around half the pace we'd expect
from a USB 3.0 external hard disk.
There are restrictions elsewhere too. The
Seagate relies on its own battery, and the firm claims seven hours of in-use
lifespan and 25 hours in standby mode. That's decent, but you'll still have to
connect it to either a PC or another type of connection to charge -luckily,
Seagate includes both mains and car cigarette lighter adapters in the box.
It's hardly cheap, either: at $272 for
500GB, it's around three times the price we'd expect to fork out for a
Despite this, there's plenty to like, not
least the easy-to-use software and effective wireless connectivity. If you're a
tablet-owning media fan who's happy to pay the premium, this is excellent.
90 x 120 x 22mm (WxDxH)
Three-year RTB warranty