Imation Pro WX wireless USB hard drive

The Imation Pro WX is a wireless USB drive hard that allows you to backup your data to a 1.5TB drive wirelessly and therefore leave your desk a little less cluttered. Big and noisy, the drive has a 25 foot range and connects to your laptop as a one-to-one connection rather than over your regular wireless network.

The drive itself is simple in its design. It's big, it's black and white, and comes with a chrome stand that pops-out when needed. The front sports a white panel, power switch that pulses like the Apple MacBook notebooks and an instant backup button to let you do just that. Beneath this there is a light that lets you see quickly how much space you've used via four bars (1 for 30%, 2 for 60%, 3 for 90% and 4 for 95%). 

The back is equally plain (it is a hard drive after all). It features a directional aerial to help you with that signal if you need it, a USB 2.0 cable socket for a hard line connection and a power socket. Just like virtually every other hard drive on the market the design is boxy and boring.

Connecting to your PC or Mac either involves you having Wireless USB already fitted or plugging in the dongle included in the box that is still fairly large. Think the largest USB thumb drive you've ever seen and then double it. It really is that big.

Connect it to your computer and that's it you are ready to start transferring your files from one to the other on the network it has created.

While Mac software is pretty thin on the ground, Windows users will get Memeo Instant Backup software that will instantly backup new or changed files every time your Imation Pro WX wireless USB hard drive is reconnected. The software is simple but effective.

While a hard line connection will get you a theoretical 60MBps transfer rates, the Imation Pro WX will quarter that and give you just 15MBps for the priviledge of ditching a hard drive on your desk or wherever in the home you happen to be.

Put that in to real terms and that means that you'll be able to transfer a 2GB file to the hard drive in just over 2 minutes. Compare this to a NAS drive over a wireless g connection and its considerably faster (it took us almost 5 minutes to transfer the same file to a Time Capsule connected to our Wireless router).

Where do I sign up then? Not so fast. While the drive is faster than saving it out to a NAS drive on your network, only you can see that information meaning you won't be able to share it with anyone else unless they've got the dongle plugged in. And before you think about the possibility of buying a dongle for each and every one of your computers, don't. While you can connect up to two dongles to the drive you can only connect one at a time.

Then there is the sheer fact that it's slower than having a physical drive connected to your notebook. While we can see that this could be a problem if you're a couch potato, it's not really going to make that much of a difference to your desk use. After all that, the "one press" button for backing up becomes irrelevant if it's hidden in a cupboard somewhere.

Verdict

The Imation Pro WX is a one of those products where someone approved it not because there was a need, but because they could.

The only reason we could see this being of use is if you are in a one man office working on your own. The problem with that though is that if you are in this "one man" office you'll not really mind a 1.5TB hard drive sitting on or under your desk doing the same task for a fraction of the price.

Yes we believe in a clutter-free desk, but at $450 we expect better performance and more options.



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