It wasnít so long ago that a terabyte was the kind of storage an intergalactic data thief might have brought with them on a mission to steal the Internet. Now you can have it on your desk, in the sleek metallic form of a new media streaming portable hard drive from Freecom. Keep reading for our review.
A terabyte is a lot of MP3 files; around 200,000 if you were wondering (enough for well over a yearís continuous listening with no repeats). Nonetheless, storage demands no longer stop at music. The widespread digital exchange of movies has lead to ever-increasing volumes of data being circulated, meaning that this amount of storage capacity will soon seem routine. The forward-thinking people at Freecom have decided itís time to fill this need.
ĒThe Freecom Media Player 450 WLAN with its reassuring metal caseĒ
But when you get down to it, isnít the 450 still just a big hard drive? Well, in essence perhaps, but thereís much more to it than that. This gadget is designed to allow seamless integration between a computer or network and media playback devices such as TVs and Hi-Fi systems. This is accomplished by a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), so the quality of both audio and pictures is excellent. An on screen display on the TV set is provided for control over the device, which Ė as the "glue" between the computer and the other appliances -- could easily become an integral part of a home entertainment system.
Out of the box, the 450 has instant appeal. Freecom has chosen to encase the innards in a sturdy metal box, which is always a good start. It might be pure psychology, but I find it far easier to believe that a company cares about the vital components in its products when it protects them with metal rather than plastic. The controls on the box itself are minimal, comprising a jog dial and three buttons. A range of LEDs indicate the 450ís status, but thatís about it. Not that itís a problem: the supplied remote provides a comprehensive set of controls.
Inside, the 450 is built around a standard 3.5Ē SATA hard drive. This means the device is effectively upgradeable. Should the included hard drive fail, or if you ever find that 1 TB of storage isnít enough, you could open up the case and drop in a 2 TB disk instead. No doubt somebody somewhere has already done this.
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