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Closer Look: Mobile Plus Hard Drive
Portable hard drives seem to have a very routine look or style. I typically expect some kind of flat box about the size of a book. Lay it flat, stand on it's side, give it some curves, external drives just all look the same.
The LifeStudio Mobile Plus definitely brings a fresh look. It reminds me more of a PDA or pocket PC. It comes with a dock which sits the drive upright on the desk. The top of the drive sits up a little higher so the status light is visible. My Pocket PC docks the same way, and I never leave it there except to charge. The Mobile Plus makes me feel like I should be taking it with me when I leave my computer.
Another thing that really makes the Mobile Plus stand out visually is the USB drive. The USB key sits on the front of the dock and is accented by a blue panel. It has a status light of it's own since it operates independently of the hard drive. To keep the USB drive secured to the front the dock has a magnet which attracts and holds portable thumb drive in the proper orientation. A set of metal pads on the back of the drive complete the electrical connection to transfer the data.
The actual hard drive holds true to the previously mentioned stereotype. It's thin, flat, gray and about the same size as a small paperback. The topside has a sleek, glossy finish with a logo printed on the front. The tapered edges add some visual interest but don't make it significantly different than every other drive on the planet.
The side has a slightly more unique profile since it shows more variation in the drive's design. The top and back sides are both flat and glossy. The bottom end of the drive is curved while the top end has a flat profile. All are accented by the same blue plastic found on the front of the dock.
The backside is the most plain with the same glossy appearance as the front without the extra styling. The back side of the drive also contains four feet which help keep the drive in place when it is not sitting in the dock. Model HLSMPUA5001ABB is designed so that the dock can stay with a stationary computer or workstation while the actual hard drive and USB key can be ported elsewhere. Other LifeStudio models do not have the portable hard drive but are geared for higher capacities.
The bottom end contains the USB port used to connect the drive to the dock or an included USB cable. In order to keep this port properly aligned while seating the hard drive, the dock has grooves that channel the feet on the back side of the drive. When the feet are aligned in the channel there is virtually no way to misalign the drive from the dock. This is a great feature since many docks can easily be damaged with careless insertion or an accidental bump.
Overall the LifeStudio Mobile Plus has a stunning visual appearance that maintains aspects of typical hard drives while taking a fresh approach and fresh appearance.