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Hitachi Mobile LifeStudio Plus (photos)

Hitachi's LifeStudio is the company's latest innovation in external hard drives and comes in both desktop and mobile versions.

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Dong Ngo
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 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
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The external hard drive comes into three parts: the docking station, the drive, and an interpreted USB key. You connect the USB key by mounting it on the front of the docking station.
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Back of the drive's docking station

For now, the new LifeStudio drives only support USB 2.0, which we find a little disappointing considering many other drives support USB 3.0.
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Mobile LifeStudio Plus' component

The Mobile LifeStudio Plus' components: the docking station, the external hard drive, and the USB key.
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USB thumb drive

The USB key works just like any other USB thumb drive and has 4GB of storage. The idea is that it holds all of the mobile documents that you want to carry on the go and can sync them back with the main drive or with your computer.
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USB thumb drive cap

The USB key's cap cannot be completely detached, so you can't lose it too easily.
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MicroSD card reader

The USB key is a microSD reader that includes a 4GB microSD card. You can use any microSD card with it, and for now you can increase the capacity to up to 32GB.
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The external hard drive can work without the docking station or the USB key.
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The drive is BUS-powered and has only one USB 2.0 connector.
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Drive capacity

For now, the largest drive you can get for the LifeStudio is 500GB.
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All of the drives in Hitachi's new LifeStudio family comes with Hitachi LifeSudio software.
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The software automatically categorizes and displays digital content (photos, music, video) based on metadata.

This is designed to make life easier for those who have a large and disorganized digital library. The software helps manage digital content from any storage device connected to the computer, not just from the LifeStudio external hard drives. It can also integrate with social networking Web sites such as Flickr and Facebook.

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