Cloud Backup: Hitachi’s Life Studio Mobile Plus, Tested

Independent Testers User Experiences

We observed the two following people as being representative of the experiences an average user would have. We followed them from opening the package through installation to actually using the product. We wanted to supplement our own conclusions with their observations and actions. The criticism and tips mentioned in this section are thus indirectly included in the final conclusion. We asked both users to evaluate the product in a few sentences.

Test Person 1: Student (16, male)

This is a summary of the first test person’s evaluation. In addition to some cell phone photos, the user mainly dealt with short movie clips, wallpapers, and MP3 files. After a short introduction on the advantages of online backup, the user enthusiastically dove into the product.

He had some criticisms regarding the boring Web interface and its usability. The search either found the wrong content or offered too many hits with little relevance. He mentioned the lack of a directory hierarchy as well as the absent EXIF data in photo files. The hard drive and USB thumb drive storage were praised, though the lack of file filtering was an issue. The 3D Wall was enjoyed and classified as stylish, balancing out the problems with file searching.

The included software proved no challenge for this user. The iPhone we supplied with the prepaid app installed was met with a "no, thank you." His grade for the entire product was a B.

Test Person 2: Adult (29, female)

This is the assessment of a professional Web designer. She liked the idea of the adopting a USB thumb drive, and its operation went smoothly. The two required user accounts were taken negatively, as was the overly complicated registration process. She missed file filtering and described these as the only reason why she would never use this product on her own, in spite of a good concept.

This is the key question: why should users have to adapt when storing files on the computer instead of having the backup software adapt to them? She would have liked more options, as well. Overall rating: satisfactory.

  • Randomacts
    So its a do not buy..

    Not surprised.
  • WyomingKnott
    Hitachi’s Life Studio Mobile Plus is a brave attempt at solving that dilemma, but it only really appeals to mainstream users.
    Mainstream users being the majority of the market, this has the potential to be quite successful. "Only appealing to mainstream users" is not much of a handicap.
  • nforce4max
    No thanks, not every one has a dedicated 100mb per second or faster connection and it would be very slow moving my rather large collection of data (3TB worth) and I much rather have the privacy of having my data on hand and no one not knowing what it is.

  • bustapr
    Ever since I watched the movie Summer Wars Ive been afraid of the cloud...
  • dogman_1234
    Cloud computing is dangerous. Sure, many things people have said about other inventis being dangrous that turn out pretty good, the cloud is no exeption. I prefer an external HDD, thank You very much.
  • wildwell
    This thing sounds like it is already outdated... not enough storage space, too slow an interface, etc. I know this product is not aimed at Tom's members, but even my mother (a retiring baby boomer) has accumulated more data than would be practical for this system.

    Does anybody here back-up large quantities of data to the cloud? I've been thinking of encrypting a handful of folders and opening an account with Mozy or BackBlaze as a supplemental off-site backup. I need to backup about 3TB of total storage.

    My concerns are mostly with the geophysical security of these companies. Do they have multiple locations? How secure are these places physically from robbery, fire, etc. What about the financial stability of these companies? Their employee access to the data, etc?

    Any thoughts?
  • dogman_1234

    No. Thar is the issue with the cloud. No one knows the security of the serves. If a malware attack is comensed on the server with your info, they can't disconnect form the internet like you can. If an attack occures, you may lose your data...which beats the purpose. I would get several external HDD. It would be ALOT cheaper than losing your data to a company who doesn't relly care about service exept cash.
  • gmgj
    I see myself storing encrypted docs in the cloud in the near future. I don't see myself storing all my music video and pictures in the cloud. Its around 500 gig. I need a small fire safe for my usb drive. Large fire safes are HEAVY and unless you spend > $300, you get a cheesy lock that is hard to open and prone to breaking
  • dogman_1234
    dONT dend sensitive documents to the cloud. Someone could steal them and break in to them. This whole cloud thing is a joke.
  • dertechie
    dogman_1234dONT dend sensitive documents to the cloud. Someone could steal them and break in to them. This whole cloud thing is a joke.
    That's why you encrypt the things properly first. Good luck decrypting AES-256 without the key.