By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 7:16 am
Last Gadget Standing Nominee: Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile Plus
Price: Starts at $109.99
A hard disk is a hard disk is a hard disk–or so it can seem, anyhow. It’s certainly tough to make one stand out from the crowd. But Hitachi took several steps to make its LifeStudio Mobile Plus line of external drives feel like something beyond the same ol’ same ol. For one thing, it worked with the folks at Cooliris to give LifeStudio drives a 3D browser that lets you explore a drive’s contents visually and share photos and videos on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. It also provided the drives with backup software that can save data to Hitachi’s online service as well as to the disk. And it gave the disks their own satellites–in the form of dockable thumb drives that let you put a subset of the hard disk’s contents in your pocket.