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We've been considering packaging in our reviews for a while given that, sometimes, you really can judge a book by its cover, especially when that cover is responsible for protecting the product throughout shipping and retail. Packaging also gives you clues about how eco-minded the manufacturer might be. From this perspective, Hitachi has created exemplary packaging by getting rid of unnecessary plastic and instead opting for form-shaped cardboard. Instead of including an installation CD, the hard drive is configured as a virtual CD drive that provides all required software.
A short, printed manual is included, helping the user through the first few installation steps. The drive also comes with two USB cables in addition to the docking station and 4 GB USB stick. In this Mobile version of the product, power comes directly from USB ports. To help deal with any low-power ports, Hitachi includes a Y cable with two USB connections. We found the USB cable a bit short, and had to use an extension cable to connect the Life Studio Mobile Plus to the tower PC located below our desk.
• 2.5" external hard drive
• 4 GB USB stick
• USB docking station
• 2 USB cables
• LifeStudio software
• Hitachi backup software
• Available capacities: 250 GB, 320 GB, and 500 GB
• Available colors: graphite and platinum
• Dimensions (HxWxD): 13.6 cm x 8.5 cm x 8.05 cm
• Supported operating systems: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 with USB 2.0 or 1.1 ports. Apple MacOS 10.5 or newer with USB 2.0 or 1.1 ports.
Assembly is hassle-free. When unpacking, observe how parts are placed inside the box. Maybe even take a picture or two. Getting everything back into the box in case you want to return the product for whatever reason can be tricky.
Setting up the hard drive and docking station takes about one minute.
We mentioned the short USB cable; hopefully you won't need to buy a longer one. The drive is detected immediately after connecting, and both the hard drive and the USB stick show up as removable media. The next step is to install the software from the virtual CD drive.