Seagate GoFlex Satellite portable drive ditches cables for Wi-Fi

Portable hard drives are a great way to carry around vast amounts of media and data—but they’re annoying because they can only be connected to one device at a time and require at least one cable (and maybe another for a power adapter). Storage vendor Seagate wants to ease that pain with its new GoFlex Satellite, a battery-powered 500 GB hard drive that connects to devices using built-in 802b/g/n Wi-Fi—and the GoFlex Satellite can stream media to three different iPads at the same time.

Seagate GoFlex Satellite

“With the growth of the tablet and iPad markets and the larger volumes of high-quality media now being consumed, there is a clear need for access to content that is not plagued with the challenges of streamed video over the Internet,” said Seagate retail group’s VP and general manager Patrick Connolly, in a statement. “We wished to create an elegant solution that provides real value to the multitude of iPad users out there by delivering a seamless connection to local storage.”

The GoFlex Satellite hard drive features an integrated lithium-polymer battery that can operate the drive for up to five hours of continuous streaming, with a full 25 hours of standby time. Part of the drive’s battery life longevity is achieved through the Seagate’s GoFlex media app, which buffers streamed content from the drive on iOS devices, enabling the drive to drop down into standby mode some of the time whilst streaming, saving battery power. (Seagate says the GoFlex Media App is initially available only for iOS devices; no word on Android or other mobile platforms.) Seagate is also bundling its Media Sync software with the GoFlex Satellite, enabling users to easy get all their media onto a GoFlex Satellite drive (whether from iTunes or another source) and keep it synchronized—and media purchased through iTunes will work on authorized devices.

Folks looking to use the drive like a traditional portable hard drive will be thrilled to know it also features a USB 3.0 port (backward compatible to USB 2, of course), and the drive also comes with a car charger and a compact wall charger.

The GoFlex Satellite is available for pre-order now for a suggested price of $199.99, and should land at Best Buy retail locations in July. Seagate promised “global availability” later “this summer”—we’re guessing they’re referring to the northern hemisphere.