Hitachi LifeStudio Desk Plus 2TB review: Hitachi LifeStudio Desk Plus 2TB

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Typical Price: $279.99

Hitachi LifeStudio Desk Plus 2TB

(Part #: CNETHitachi LifeStudio Desk Plus 2TB)
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Bundled USB flash drive. LifeStudio software does a good job sorting media.

The Bad Ordinary read/write performance. Expensive for a USB 2.0 drive.

The Bottom Line Slick included software and an expensive novelty USB flash drive aren't enough to make the DeskLife Studio plus a must-buy storage option.

6.8 Overall


The DeskLife Studio Plus certainly stands out amongst external USB hard drives, for two primary reasons. We've seen external hard drives with inbuilt docks before, but the DeskLife Studio Plus takes this to an extreme, building the dock base right into the drive itself. This makes it very easy to stand up on a desk, but tougher to accommodate for moving about. With that in mind, the combined dock and 2TB drive we tested comes with an embedded magnetic dock for a 4GB USB Flash drive that clips on the front of the drive itself. The idea's pretty simple. Your most-used files go onto the flash drive, while your larger backups sit on the main drive itself. The drive comes with an AC power adaptor, further tethering it to a desk, although the upside of this is that it requires only one USB 2.0 port to operate.


A front-mounted USB Flash drive is what makes this the DeskLife Studio "Plus" model. You can purchase just a DeskLife model sans the Flash drive for AU$249 compared to the $279.99 price of the USB equipped model.

The other facet of the DeskLife's offering is Hitachi's LifeStudio software. This offers a sorting and viewing mechanism for common file types, as well as limited live streaming. In the US, this includes Hulu, but locally that's not an option. What we do get online is cloud storage for backup. The first 3GB is free, with an option to purchase 250GB online for US$49 per year.

The LifeStudio connects up and will take up to three drive letters. One for the installation partition, one for the main 2TB partition and one for the flash drive if it's connected. The Flash drive does use a standard USB interface beneath a cap, but when magnetically connected it's also read/write capable.

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