Product: LaCie Fuel (1TB)
Digital storage is the new frontier. Think about it. It won't be long before media cabinets are no longer sized for DVD and Blu Ray cases and will be built around hard drive RAIDS instead. However, access to media on hard drives is less intuitive than popping a disc into a player. Fuel may just be the answer.
The device itself is one of the more rugged external hard drives I've come across recently, which is important, especially when you're talking about precious files. Too many hard drives right now have cheap plastic casings. The casing on the Fuel is durable and made of an incredibly thick plastic. I also liked the texture, because it makes it less prone to scratching and discoloration.
Setup was impressively simple. Just look for the device in your available WiFi connections and then connect. The Fuel will mount to your computer, which makes throwing files on the device quick and easy. The associated app (Seagate Media) is pre-organized for music, videos and photos. It's not required that you organize your files that way and you can go ahead and change the file names to create folders like TV Shows or Movies, but it requires creating new folders.
The iPad app was by far my favorite in side by side comparisons. The layout is too small for iPhones (shown left) and Android Smartphones with the exception of some of the new 5 inch screens on some new Samsungs. Tablets are the clear experiential winner here.
A small point of confusion for some users is that the associated app you need to access your files on your devices is NOT called LaCie Fuel. Instead you're looking for the Seagate Media app. Here's a few links to download them for different devices to alleviate confusion:
The key takeaway for the LaCie Fuel is that this is really best appreciated by people who have lots of digital files, but aren't savvy enough or don't want to spend the time to figure out how to access them across lots of their devices by setting up a custom piece of software. The Fuel makes the process simple, easy and almost impossible to screw up. You're paying for that ease of use, but for many, time is a rare resource which can be spent watching your media instead of trying to set it up. A worthy trade off.
Pros: Remarkable easy to set up. Filing system within the app makes finding and sorting files pretty fool proof. The hardware itself is really nicely built.
Cons: The price per TB is a little steep.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was provided by the manufacturer for testing and review purposes.
(Image credits: Elizabeth Giorgi)