The GoFlex Satellite from Seagate is the first portable hard drive to include an integrated battery pack plus Wi-Fi that lets you stream 500 gigs of whatever you want directly to your iPad or any other mobile device without plugging in any wires at all.
I'm not sure why it took so long for someone to come up with a wireless hard drive, but Seagate seems to be the first company to take a shot at the idea with the GoFlex Satellite. The 500 gig drive isn't that much larger (physically) than some of Seagate's other portable storage options, but it manages to include a lithium-ion battery that lets it operate without being plugged in to anything.
Battery power is neat and all, but the reason you want this drive is that it's able to create its own little wireless hotspot to stream media to any device capable of a Wi-Fi connection. The b/g/n antenna is actually capable of making three separate connections simultaneously, and can stream an HD movie over each one of those connections lag-free up to 150 feet away. Not too shabby. Also not too shabby is that the drive can stream video continuously for five straight hours, or wait for up to 25 hours in standby mode for you to use it, powering up whenever you ask it to connect.
Seagate has also done some clever things on the software side, with a new iPad (and iPhone) app designed specifically for the drive. In addition to giving streamlined access to all the media on the drive, the app can also buffer an entire movie for you in under seven minutes, minimizing the time that the drive is actually in use and conserving the battery. And if you're not shackled by iOS, the drive is also accessible from a web browser on any device at all.
Getting media onto the drive in the first place is as simple as dragging and dropping files from your PC, or you can use their syncing software to do it for you automatically. So if you've got an iPad or iPhone and are stick and tired of slogging through iTunes every time you want to switch up your movies, this drive could take over completely. Plus, with 500 gigs to work with, you don't have to be choosy about what movies you bring along.
Look for the Seagate GoFlex Satellite for $200 in Best Buy in July, and globally later this summer.