I’ve said it many times before: when buying a tablet, make sure it has an SD or microSD card slot so that you can enhance the tablet’s internal memory. Most tablets now include a dedicated media card reader slot, but some notables do not—and without an expansion option for memory, you’re left with a very expensive brick that will immediately be filled with photos, movies, and music. 32GB of internal memory (assuming that the system requirements don’t use more than half of the internal memory) will hold roughly 25 high-definition movies, 7,000 songs, and 11,000 photos at 8 megapixels each. Sounds like a lot, but when you include apps, programs, and other extras, that 32GB will disappear in the blink of an eye.
Until now. The storage options that LaCie (a company known for vast and flexible storage solutions) offers include an innovative drive called the Fuel. What the LaCie Fuel does is add memory via Wi-Fi to tablets and other mobile devices where none existed. In other words, they have brought hope to the hopeless. Well, a bit dramatic, but you see what we’re getting at.
The LaCie Fuel is a completely wireless storage option that comes in two capacities: the 1TB and 2TB editions. These drives act as sort of a Wi-Fi hotspot, without the need for an Internet connection. You simply charge up the unit (it contains a 10-hour rechargeable battery), connect your tablet or mobile device, and use the Fuel’s internal Wi-Fi to communicate. You now have an extra 1TB of storage to view 300 high-definition movies (1.5GBMP4 using H.264 compression), listen to 125,000 songs, or view 100,000 pictures. Double those figures for the 2 TB version.
Like your home router, the Fuel creates its own network subsystem, so you can connect up to five additional devices to share your digital files. Instead of sending photos you’re posting (or thinking of posting) on Facebook, you can just drop them on the Fuel and let someone with another connected device view them. Want to share your favorite song playlist? Create it. Drag and drop it, and let another member on your network listen to it. Think of this device as a portable home server the next time you plan a long road trip or go camping. It also has the ability to stream an HD movie to three devices at once, so no more arguing in the backseat because the kids are fighting over who gets to watch what.
Another interesting feature is in the Wi-Fi signal itself. If you do connect this device to a home network or hotspot, you can allow up to four other devices to use the Wi-Fi signal for themselves. So take it to your favorite Wi-Fi-enabled coffee shop or restaurant and let your LaCie Fuel acts as a router for another tablet phone or mobile device.
By installing the free downloadable Seagate app, you’ll have access to all the content on your drive, in easy-to-see tiles that display the cover art for music and movies, and clear thumbnails for the photos.
You have two options to transfer files to your Mac, PC, or mobile device (including the Kindle Fire). With the Seagate app installed, you can see your drive as an external hard drive on the desktop, or an app icon on your mobile device. You can simply drag and drop files there the way you would to a wired external hard drive. They are then transferred wirelessly to your Fuel. Your other alternative is to use the USB 3.0 port and cable (included) for transfer speed of up to 5Gb/s. Use this option when you have large files or lots of individual files to transfer, and don’t want to wait for your wireless connection or to impede its usage with other wireless devices. The Fuel also supports Dropbox so that you can add, edit, and delete files. When you use Dropbox, it won’t update the folder until you are in range of a Wi-Fi signal, so you have access when you’re off the grid. This device also supports Apple’s digital ecosystem as well, and can stream music to Apple AirPlay-enabled speakers via a tap of your iPhone, or view movies using an iPad and Apple TV. The Fuel allows you to stay connected at all times.
So, instead of investing in multiple SD or microSD cards, combine your digital library into one drive and take it with you wherever you go. For the price of three or four cards, you could have your own personal mobile server with almost four times more space. You won’t have to switch out cards, or worry about labeling them either, because your digital life will all be stored in one convenient device. Truly portable storage, with no wires and no clutter. That would fuel anyone’s desire for storage on the go.
|Battery Life||10 hours (8 hours for continuous streaming)|
|Wi-Fi Range||150 feet (45 meters)|
|Maximum Number of Connected Devices||5 (3 when streaming HD video)|
|Dimensions||4.5 x 4.5 x 0.9" / 11.5 x 11.5 x 2.3 cm|
|Weight||9.7 oz. / 300 g|
|System Requirements||Wi-Fi enabled devices with web browser
Mac OS® X 10.6 or higher
iOS 5.1.1 or higher
Windows® 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista®
Android® 2.3 or higher
Can someone please tell me what the lacie fuel wire is called? I need a new one and need to order it online.
Please let me know.TIA!
Below are links to two items for you to regard. The first is a replacement for the supplied USB cable that came with the device, and the second is for an AC adapter to use to plug the USB cable to power/charge the device.
I wish to know if the USB 3.0 port accept a card reader. And, if this is possible, when is connected a card in reader I will "see" files on it through an iPad?
Hi Ciprian -
Card readers and other accessories require connection to a computer or tablet host directly. A card reader cannot be connected to this hard drive storage device.
Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions: [email protected]