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


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.

Achim Roos
  • 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.