Way back in January, 2007 and again in March, 2007, I wrote some glowing reviews of the Nexto CF Ultra ND2525 portable storage device from EastGear.com. Recently, I gave a show-and-tell to a group of photographers, again extolling the virtues of the Nexto - very fast upload, more than great battery life, replaceable hard drive. I even went online with someone interested in purchasing a Nexto and walked them through to make sure they found the right device. However, shortly after that, when they actually ordered the device, they were told they didn’t have any available and ended up purchasing a different model that performed much less satisfactorily.
That concerned me, so I checked with EastGear and found out they no longer make the CF Ultra. Bummer. It’s still a good product. There are other similar products, like the Wolverine and JOBO devices, but I was hoping to find something similar to the Nexto. In the process, I found the Sanho Hyperdrive Colorspace UDMA. About $50 more than the CF Ultra 80GB version I have, but with more features ($349 for the 120GB version). Where the CF Ultra had just a B&W simple LCD screen (I’m not that interested in flashy screens for viewing - or showing off - images, playing videos or MP3s) the Colorspace has a large 3.2″ color screen for reviewing images, a superfast upload like the Nexto, a battery rated to upload 250GB worth of image files, user-replaceable hard drive, among other nice features.
My needs for portable storage are different than some. I want fast uploads, long battery life, the ability to replace or upgrade the hard drive, and a reasonable price point. Nothing too fancy. That’s why I like the CF Ultra so much. It’s not flashy, just business. The Colorspace, while a bit more flashy with the large color screen and other functionality, still retains the business end without going over the top like some other brands seem to do. This isn’t a status symbol for me, it’s a tool that’s going to be in a case on my belt or in a pocket or in a bag out of view so it doesn’t need to look pretty or have lots of fancy looking controls like a touchscreen. However, that technology is becoming more mainstream, so it’s inevitable these devices will incorporate those features as they become more affordable. Not a bad thing, I just don’t think it’s necessary for these devices to be first adopters. Leave that up to the iPhone.
I haven’t gotten my hands on one of these to see for myself, but the reviews I’ve read are glowing. If I were to need a replacement device, I believe the Hyperdrive Colorspace UDMA would be my first choice.
My wife told me about an interview Charlie Rose had with Bill Gates the other day. Bill said we are heading toward a time (I think we knew it was coming) when we will be using one hand held device for nearly all our needs, phone, music, news, video, image capture, etc. That will probably be a good thing as long as we have the ability to choose among several devices, not just one or two.