June 8, 2014: Mobile devices account for the largest number of captured video and photos today. Seven out of every ten pictures are snapped, using a smartphone rather than a digicam, finds a recent survey by analysts IDC, of global digital imaging practices.
But we all know what happens to phones! We tend to drop them or lose them -- placing at risk all those precious digital memories in their pixel-heavy files, unless we take pre-emptive action. The name of the game is Backup.
Thumbnail-sized USB Flash drives are not an option; their capacity is still limited to a 100 GB or so. So it's back to good old, hard disk drives -- and Seagate, a leader in this particular storage technology has gone as far as one can go in squeezing terabytes -- that's 1000s of gigabytes -- into incredibly small space.
They have just launched in India, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim series, the world's thinnest external terabyte-scale hard disks and I got to try out the maximum capacity drive in this family, the 2 terabyte version for a few days.
Fitting easily in the palm of your hand and just over a centimetre in thickness, the metal- encased the Backup Plus Slim weighs less than 160 grams and will slide easily into pocket or purse. It comes preinstalled with Seagate Dashboard, the backup software that promises to protect, save and store your files. Designed with a canny feel for what people do with Social Media, the software has buttons that make it very easy to save from, or upload to, your page at Facebook, Flicker or YouTube, using your phone or tablet to connect. The drive comes with a cable designed for the new ( and much faster) USB 3.0 interface.
Typically, you would attach the drive to your phone using the micro USB port of your device. You would need to install the free Seagate Mobile Backup app on an iOS or Android mobile device.
It is always difficult to check out claims of transfer speeds, unless one works under test bench conditions. But from my brief trials with real data, I would say the Backup Plus Slim will allow you to write data at around 120 MBPS and read at around 85 MBPS. That should be good enough for most of us.
But if you need to carry your data with you for semi-professional reasons, maybe you should opt instead for Seagate's Backup Plus Fast, which will do the job at twice the speed. It manages this by using, not one disk platter, but two, working back to back, thus halving the read/write time. The price you pay is in diminished portability: the "Fast" drive is twice the weight at 307 grams and more than twice the thickness at 8.25 cms.
For most of us thinner is better and we might accept the slower transfer speeds for the beautifully compact form factor of the Slim drive.
The Backup Plus Slim is available in three sizes: 500GB Slim: Rs 4,250; 1TB Slim: Rs 6,000; 2TB Slim: Rs 10,500. The Backup Plus Fast is currently available in India in just one size: 4TB for Rs 25,000. Do check the online shopping sites: I found these drives selling for a few thousand rupees less than the MRP. Happy storage-on-the-go!
More on Backup Plus Slim
More on Backup Plus Fast -- Anand Parthasarathy