This ugly monster is either the most ridiculously niche iPad accessory yet, or it’s a photographer’s best friend. Actually, it could be both. The HyperDrive iPad Hard Drive is an external USB storage box for your tablet, holding up to 750GB of movies and photos and serving them up to the iPad via the Camera Connection Kit.
The iPad is a wonderful device for viewing photos and movies. I have the Camera Connection Kit and its a great way to check, edit and send photos when on a trip away. The problem is that even a 64GB iPad will fill up pretty quick, especially if you’re shooting a lot of RAW files.
The iPad can in fact read files from any USB drive that is formatted the right way. It needs to use the FAT 32 file system (the same as all camera memory cards use) and files need to be in a folder called DCIM. The problem is that there is a limit on the size of the drives that can be used: anything over 32GB won’t work.
The HyperDrive gets around this by only offering photos in 32GB virtual drives that the iPad can see. You load the images onto the dive itself via two card-reader slots (any card will fit) and can browse the file-structure on the built-in screen via an interface even uglier than the unit itself.
If you need something like this, then you’ll already have skipped to the link below and be ordering one. Otherwise you’ll likely be slightly bemused as to what possible point this could have. If you are in the latter group, let me give you another chuckle: the bare-box comes in at $250. Add in a 750GB hard-drive and you’re looking at $600. Ouch.
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