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CNET First Look
Pogoplug Series 4Who needs iCloud? This tiny, $99 device can turn any hard drive, SD card, or USB thumbdrive into a cloud-sharable volume, and it's incredibly easy to use.
I'm Scott Stein senior editor at cnet.com -- just when you thought you'd seen all the gadgets for this holiday season. Along comes a surprise contender at the end of 2011. And it's the pogo plug series for so what is a pogo plug well it's a hardware device it's a bit liking as network attached storage. Which means the you can connect devices to it. And collect that information over the Internet over your local Wi-Fi now certainly there are other devices like sign algae servers and Drobo they can do that too. But this is a lot more user friendly analyze -- use your own hard drives or SD cards or USB devices directly plugged it. Now we've seen these before in the boxes were a lot bigger. This one is very shrunken down almost the size of an Apple TV or roku box and cost 99 dollars. The pogo plug mobile which launched a little earlier this year looked like the same type of device but only had one USB port in the back an SD card slot. This would really ups the ante for only an extra twenty dollars it's got an SD card slot over here it's got two USB three point oh ports. And inside here if there were a little pop top. It's an additional USB 2.0 port vertical and a SATA port which is great because you can to get 2.5 inch hard drive. Out of your laptop even worry could use a seagate go flex drive like this and plug it directly in the top. To use it as a dock for that hard drive. And instantly be able to share that content online. Now there are actually you can download available on IOS and Android and some other platforms. You can also download Mac and PC software that allows you to use this basically -- drag and drop hard drive on computers. Or on your phone or tablet you can use it to access music photos and movies. And other files you've loaded on to it plus there are ways of sharing it you can send email links to download that file you can also share that information. -- -- tweak Google+. Or FaceBook so it's really a nice interconnected platform. The pogo plug is also a deal in a device which means you can share that video with their Xbox-360. Or PS3. Or other -- connected Smart television -- your mileage may vary as far as what videos or share herbal or valuable. We've always had mixed success in that regard depending on the strength of our wireless network. And certain formats but one thing we really like about this new pogo plug decides its hardware the software is improved. There's a nicer step by step tutorial for Mac and PC users to take their media libraries and transfer them over to any hard drives that are attached to the pogo plug. Was really -- of the new version of the pogo plug app for mobile devices. Is that it will allow you to upload photos and movies up to your pogo -- device over the in the Internet. And of course the but as services like iCloud or you do that for photos. But this does it for your entire movie library any sort of iPhone -- -- movies that I've got on here some of them 794 megabytes for instance. Uploaded completely and were able to be played back. Although the quality of the streaming and playback was a little downsized. -- still the full file that gets uploaded to this device. So for its size and the fact that it's got that hard drive port. It's really great little innocuous device to -- into your home media center or -- your home and be able to use this to share files with anybody. It seems like they've finally be the perfect nail on the head as far as the design of the product and the price -- 99 dollars is very competitive so. If you're Shannon has take a look at this I'm Scott Stein and this is a look at pogo plug series for available today.