What do you do if you need to back up your data, transport it, synchronize it between several locations, and access it online? Hitachi’s Life Studio Mobile Plus is a brave attempt at solving that dilemma, but it only really appeals to mainstream users.
A lot has been said and written about data protection, so we're happy every time a company tries to breathe new life into the market with some amount of real innovation. Obviously, backing up data to an external hard drive or network storage solution is nothing new. Virtually everyone has a USB thumb drive today, and even saving data onto your personal Web space is old hat. However, when someone promises all of this in a single, user-friendly, convenient, and affordable package, we gladly take a closer look.
Hitachi promises that its new LifeStudio product makes organizing and finding files, music, and photos even easier. The software uses the same Cooliris 3D wall paradigm found in Android smartphones' Gallery app. All content is conveniently accessed, edited, and managed through a centralized piece of software with support for uploading photos to Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa. The integrated USB thumb drive provides an easy and flexible way to transport important data. Finally, apps for the iPhone let you can access the data online later. Unfortunately, these are not free of charge.
On the following pages, we'll take a closer look at the Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile Plus. We didn’t doubt that the concept would work, but the promised user friendliness and simplicity is something we had to see to believe. This includes benchmarking the individual components, as well as assessing everyday use. We also chose two unbiased test subjects who had never used a product like this before.
We already owned external hard drives, a collection of USB thumb drives in various capacities, and various Internet storage spaces. Could the Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile Plus render all of these disparate pieces obsolete? We had to know.