Seagate on Monday launched two new wireless hard drives for the Middle Eastern consumer market, the Wireless Plus and the Central.
The Wireless Plus can be considered a successor to the Seagate GoFlex Satellite, which was launched last year. It features a slimmer design, a 10-hour battery life, the ability to upload files wirelessly, and a new app with which to access all of the files.
Indeed, the new user interface is what Seagate hopes will earn these new products most of their kudos, according to Dimitri Galle, Senior Director of EMEA Sales and Marketing, Seagate, who headed up the Dubai launch.
“The user interface is the big selling point of this, especially when you talk to a female audience,” he said. “It’s why Apple devices are so popular – the iPhone may not be the best phone out there, but it’s definitely the easiest to use. And that’s driving us now, to give the best possible user experience.”
The 1TB Wireless Plus, then, with the slick new interface, allows any wireless-enabled device to connect to the hard drive without losing internet connectivity. Users can stream photos, HD videos or documents over the network that the Plus creates, as well as set passwords so that only authorised users can access the files.
Seagate claimed that the device will support up to three users streaming HD videos, or else eight users streaming mixed file formats, whether that be photos, videos or lower-res videos.
The Seagate Central, meanwhile, is more of a storage hub for the home.
“Some people call it a shared storage device, some say it’s a consumer NAS, but I like to call it a personal cloud,” said Ayman Al-Ajouz, Channel Sales Manager for the GCC, Seagate.
Highlights of this device include a dual-core processor with 256MB of RAM, new media apps and integration with Samsung’s smart TVs. Seagate claimed that the device will organise and back-up data from every device in the home, including PCs, notebooks, tablets and smartphones. It will also allow users to stream content from the hub wirelessly.
The Central will also allow users to access their files from anywhere in the world, provided both devices are connected to the internet. Users can simply access the app, or else head to the device controls via a Web browser and start streaming.
The Central will come in either 2TB, 3TB or 4TB guise.
Of course, the idea of a wireless hard drive is not a new one, and Seagate admitted that other vendors have released similar products. Kingston, for example, last year released the Wi-Drive, which will share data with three users simultaneously.
But Seagate remains bullish about its own products.
“When it comes to wireless, other companies are using the same idea,” said Al-Ajouz. “But they’re doing it on flash storage, which makes the product much more expensive. Also, I haven’t seen a 10-hour battery life on the market, or the ability to support eight users. This is just what I’ve seen.
“In terms of the Central, I haven’t seen any hard drives that offer all of the features that we do.”
The Wireless Plus is already available in the UAE with a recommended retail price of Dh799. Seagate said that the Central will be made available by the end of March, but did not speculate on pricing.