G-Tech's new G-Connect: iCloud on the go, almost

G-Tech announces the G-Connect, a mobile storage product like Seagate's GoFlex Satellite that works as a wireless storage extender for the iPad and other mobile devices.

The G-Connect comes in white and is about the same physical size as Seagate's GoFlex Satellite.
The G-Connect comes in white and is about the same physical size as Seagate's GoFlex Satellite. Dong Ngo/CNET

It seems the iPad's limited internal storage and lack of peripheral ports provide ample opportunities for storage vendors.

About a month ago, Seagate Technology introduced the GoFlex Satellite as the first mobile hard drive that can stream content to the iPad. Today, G-Technology, a subsidiary of Hitachi Storage that focuses on external storage solutions, announced a similar product of its own: the G-Connect wireless storage product.

The G-Connect is similar to the GoFlex Satellite in multiple ways. It's another compact 500GB portable hard drive that has a built-in Wireless-N access point that can stream stored digital content to up to five wireless devices (the Satellite can only stream to three devices).

The G-Connect has one major advantage over the Satellite: it also comes with an Ethernet port for connecting to an existing network, and hence is capable of also offering an Internet connection to the connected clients. Clients can surf the Web and check e-mails while streaming content, such as music, at the same time. This makes the device almost an alternative for the iCloud service recently announced by Apple.

With an Ethernet port, the G-Connect can access the Internet when plugged into an existing network.
With an Ethernet port, the G-Connect can access the Internet when plugged into an existing network. Dong Ngo/CNET

"Almost," because the G-Connect doesn't have something that the Satellite has: a built-in battery. This means you'll always have to connect it to a power source, making it not ideal for people on the go. The Satellite, on the other hand, can work while unplugged for up to 6 hours and also comes with a car charger; it's currently unclear if the G-Connect will be bundled with one. Physically, the two devices have the same compact shape and size, despite the Satellite's built-in battery.

Similar to the Satellite, the G-Connect comes with an app that enables iOS devices to conveniently access its content. The device works with other Wi-Fi clients via a browser and DLNA-compliant streamer, such as the WD TV Live Plus or the GoFlex TV. When used with a USB cable, it will also work as a USB 2.0 external hard drive. The drive doesn't support USB 3.0, unfortunately, but this is because it's designed primarily for Macs, which generally don't support USB 3.0.

G-Tech says that apps for Android-based devices will also be available by fall. The G-Connect itself will be available in July (at about the same time as Seagate's GoFlex Satellite) at an estimated price of around $200.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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