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Toshiba launches pocket-sized wireless hard drive

gadgets Updated: Apr 25, 2014 11:14 IST

The lightweight Canvio AeroMobile SSD is, as its name suggests, designed for use on the go and could be the ideal solution for expanding the storage on everything from a smartphone to a notebook.

But as well as being compact, it's also durable, thanks to the fact that it uses Solid State memory rather than a spinning hard drive for storage. Spinning disks can jump, run hot and corrupt, especially when they get knocked about. Solid State memory is also faster, so accessing files -- be they documents, songs or HD movies -- should be smoother and more responsive. However SSD technology is more expensive and that's why despite offering ‘only' 128GB of storage, the device costs $209.99 in the US where it launched Thursday.

Still it can support up to eight devices from notebooks and desktops to cameras, tablets and smartphones, and its built-in rechargeable battery is good for up to eight hours' use before it's time to track down a power socket.

Perhaps the smartest feature though is the built-in SD card slot which makes transferring files to the disk simple. It might be wireless, but even now, most pro-level DSLR cameras aren't, so it's a great way of backing up images captured on the go and clearing space on memory cards for reuse.

The Canvio AeroMobile SSD is by no means the only rechargeable wireless hard drive to launch in recent weeks.

The Toshiba Canvio AeroMobile SSD. Photo: AFP

LaCie, one of the world's premium hard disk brands has just launched the Fuel, which although much bigger and bulkier, offers 2TB of storage on tap and a 10-hour battery life for just $40 more (it has a US retail price of $249.99).

However, it uses a spinning hard disk and although portable, it is designed to be dropped into a bag or suitcase rather than slipped into a trouser or jacket pocket. That doesn't degrade its usefulness and could well be the ideal mobile media hub for a digital family on holiday with tablets, smartphones, notebooks galore and an inability to decide which film to watch or album to play.

But, for consumers that like to travel light, and particularly for those with Apple products like iPhones and iPads whose storage can't be expanded via a memory card, the Canvio AeroMobile SSD could prove to be a rather elegant and practical way of accessing films, video clips and songs even when their handset is full up, when there's no internet connection or when international roaming charges make using the 3G or 4G/LTE networks prohibitive.