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Meet Drobo: A Data-Saving Robot

Conclusion: Groundbreaking Technology - But Expensive

Though Drobo the data robot is easy to handle, well-manufactured and helps home users to administer and manage large amounts of data, we think it is still too expensive for a consumer device. With only a USB connection, Drobo clearly belongs in the home user segment. And home users will think twice before spending $500 on a Drobo unit.

Data Robotics emphasizes how customers can always buy drives with the best cost-per-gigabyte ratio, which is a strong argument. Another plus is how Drobo allows for an asynchronous hard drive configuration. But since a safe harbor for your data is actually what you're aiming for, those used 80 GB or 100 GB hard drives in your closet simply won't do the trick. So, you must add about $200 for two 400 GB hard drives to the cost of one Drobo unit to properly use the device.

Drobo represents a lot of money and many users might instead opt to invest in traditional, external hard drives and manual data backup. This is actually too bad, since we really like the idea behind Drobo despite its flaws. If you don't mind its high price and only average data transfer rates, Drobo is a storage device that needs almost no user intervention. It is also technologically groundbreaking.

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  • Thank you for your review. I only want to add that there is a 2nd generation drobo that gives Firewire support. Also, you can buy droboshare to go along with one or two drobo for network access. I would be most interested in reading your thoughts about the different connection abilities and speeds.
    Thanks again