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Imation ships first wireless USB hard drive

Imation ships world's first wireless USB external hard drive that offers 1.5TB of storage and a speed of 15MBps at up to 30 feet away.

If you've wished you could connect your external hard drive to your computer without having to use the USB cable, now you can.

Imation announced Thursday the availability of the first wireless USB external hard drive, the Pro WX. The hard drive works just like any other USB hard drive, with one exception: it doesn't require a USB cable.

The Pro WX wireless USB external hard drive. Imation

Wireless USB has been under development for about five years, and some of the first products were demoed at CES 2009. This technology allows you to connect USB 2.0 devices to a computer wirelessly from up to 30 feet away with a throughput speed of up to 480Mbps.

According to Imation, the Pro WX wireless USB external hard drive offers less than that, with speeds of up to only 120Mbps or 15MBps; this is about three times slower than regular USB 2.0 hard drives. At this speed it can finish copying the entire content of a CD-ROM (roughly 800MB) in about 50 seconds. Other than that, this drive is based on the 3.5-inch desktop hard drive and offers 1.5TB of storage.

The Imation Pro WX features a sleep-mode feature to conserve energy and a one-touch, backup sync button for you to manually start a backup when needed. The device is compatible with both PC and Mac operating systems

In order to take advantage of the wireless USB, your computer needs to support this. As most computers don't have built-in wireless USB, there are adapters that you can add to the machine. It's unclear if an adapter is included with the Pro WX.

What's clear, however, is the fact that this is going to be one of the most expensive external hard drives you can find. At the estimated price of $500, about three times the price of regular external USB hard drives of the same storage capacity, I am not sure if it's worth it when the only benefit is losing the USB cable.