External hard disks are very common nowadays, but we still see some innovation in this product segment. A nice example of this is the Patriot Gauntlet Node, an external hard disk with built-in WiFi.
With the introduction of USB 3.0 external hard disks have become much faster. The low prices have stifled innovation a bit, as manufacturers are more focused on bringing to market the cheapest possible products.
While you do see bright colors and other visual touches, the hardware has largely remained the same with a few exceptions. For example, this Gauntlet Node from Patriot strives to add something more to the formula: a built-in battery and WiFi.
The hard disk has a fairly basic design, with a port for the included USB 3.0 cable, a hole for the power supply cable and two buttons.
One is the power switch, and the other for getting a read on the remaining battery power. You install the 2.5in disk or SSD by removing four screws that are covered by rubber feet. For the test we used a 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 SSD with a nice transfer rate of 245MB/s for reading and 275MB/s for writing, perfect for getting the most out of USB 3.0.
The box also contains a 10 watt USB charger along with a cable. Included are international adapters, as it's a standard American plug. A single battery charge should last about five hours according to Patriot.
When you sever the USB connection and turn on the hard disk, an unsecured wireless network will appear under the name GauntletNode.
You can connect to it with your PC, laptop and other devices that are wireless. Patriot has created apps for iPhone, iPad and Android for easy access to the Gauntlet.
You can check out the rest of the review of the Patriot GauntletNode on hardware.info.