|Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile Plus 500GB External Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Dan Ferguson|
|Friday, 24 September 2010|
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Portable Hard Drive Final Thoughts
When new technologies are introduced they often suffer from problems due to a lack of experience and knowledge. Just think about the scary problems encountered when nuclear energy was first introduced. The issues were so severe that the impression still lingers across the world. Yet nuclear energy has matured to the point that one will be hard-pressed to find another energy source as clean, as powerful, as efficient, or as safe as nuclear energy. But those initial impressions make it difficult for many to re-evaluate the current state of the technology and update their attitudes.
Hitachi's LifeStudio platform faces a similar challenge since the technology they introduced is still relatively new. People haven't had much experience with a hard drive that comes with software to manage files, so Hitachi had to make some assumptions or judgement calls about what would make the product great. With regards to the interface they hit the answer squarely. The 3D wall is stunning, effective and provides a new way to interface files. The hard drive options and physical build are also a great success.
But other aspects still need some modification.The online content is constantly interrupted by advertisements which seem to be based on the number of clicks. This is not a great answer when users are browsing through files. It takes awhile to find the exact song or file you want which could mean watching 5 minutes of advertisements before getting to the correct online video. Advertisements really should be based on the time of content actually watched or users will get frustrated. Another miss was the lack of configuration options. Only the bare essentials of the user interface could be changed. I liked the interface but it could be made more intuitive by using document previews, playlist functionality, history, and better navigation options. Let me configure my keyboard shortcuts please. Lastly, it is a portable hard drive with custom software. Could the software be made portable so it doesn't have to be installed on every computer?!
Just to reiterate, it may not be fair to expect new software to be as configurable or easy to use as mainstream applications that have been around for decades. So I'll write it off as inexperience. But this idea is so good that if Hitachi doesn't stay on the ball then someone else will fill the opportunity.