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Patriot Gauntlet 320 External Wireless Hard Drive

Author:
Subject: Storage, Mobile
Manufacturer: Patriot

Wireless storage for PC, Mac, iOS and Android

Today we are taking a look at the new Patriot Gauntlet 320 external USB 3.0 and wireless hard drive, available starting at $149 at Newegg.com.

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The premise is quite simple: take a portable hard drive with USB 3.0 support and add in the ability to share the unit wirelessly with up to 8 different machines and power it by a lithium-ion battery.  Not only does the Gauntlet show up in your network as a mountable drive in Windows and Mac OS, the Gauntlet supports using free applications for iOS devices and Android devices to share and stream media.

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There are some limitations that you might want to consider including the inability to access network-based devices when using the pass through Internet capability the Gauntlet provides.  Also, data transfer performance on the wireless connectivity that the Gauntlet provides seemed pretty low, even with the 802.11n support. 

Potential uses cases for the Gauntlet include any time you need a shared data source like working on group projects for school or the office, on-the-go storage for devices like Ultrabooks with smaller hard drives and users that have large media collections they want to use with smart phones and tablets.

Check out our full video review below!

Note that in the video, our early sample of the Gauntlet 320 has the "node" label on it; the Gauntlet Node is a separate device that is only a DIY enclosure WITHOUT an included hard drive.  Originally there was a sticker cover the "node" label but incorrectly removed it before filming.  Just a heads up!

 

October 16, 2012 | 11:27 PM - Posted by mickleby

I'm curious what capacity has the battery; I have found only the spin "up to 5.5h".

The software and slick package aside, I think the pieces can be hacked together for just about the same price: Raspberry PI $35, 5600mAh 5v (3800mAh 12v) battery $40, WiFi dongle $7, case $8, 320GB 2.5" HDD $45, charger $5. For something like $140 (less parts laying around the house) one could build this.

I read a bit just now about charging LiPo batteries, wondering if I could reduce my cost by repurposing cell phone batteries. The required circuitry isn't trivial; I'm not considering that route.

October 16, 2012 | 11:35 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

That's a lot of work...  You know you can buy JUST the housing?

October 17, 2012 | 11:06 AM - Posted by mickleby

Yes, a LOT of work! :)

I agree; with no appreciable savings, such a "Hack A Day" solution is rather silly, would be considerably larger and less portable, and would lack the convenient software. I hadn't realized the required charging circuitry for LiPo batteries, thus limiting the margin of savings for a DIY solution.

I was hoping the Gauntlet 320 was at hand and the battery capacity clearly marked, my main interest in posting. I remain modestly frustrated that I cannot readily locate the battery capacity, whether from Patriot or from online hardware reviews. I calculate the capacity at around 6000mAh@5V based on 500mA RPi v1, 400mA 2.5" HDD, 150mA WiFi, 5.5h battery life. On the other hand, such capacity claims tend to be inflated whereas my calculation implies nearly continuous heavy use for 5h; the Gauntlet may actually be much less.

I am also intrigued to note that with Raspberry Pi we can now "home brew" such fairly sophisticated devices quite near the cost of purchase. Formerly, there have been significant margins. Either, the savings of DIY made the time and effort worthwhile; or, the economy of scale of mass produced items made such DIY projects prohibitively expensive. With the Gauntlet 320, the numbers are nearly the same, the cost difference of DIY and purchase through Patriot around 10%.

Further on the "what will Raspberry Pi mean to the next-gen DIY community", I am familiar and interested in the RPi because I'm pondering my near-full NAS. In the case of NAS, it seems the trouble of RPi can yield sufficient savings. I mean, why do NAS devices cost so much?!

I am typing this from my hometown, Connersville, Indiana. In closing, I want to mention how pleased I am to know that PC Perspective is in Northern Kentucky. I moved to San Francisco after living 10yrs in Cincy. Some of my dearest friends hail from Florence. And I am working diligently to inspire my 14yo nephew by the example of Ryan Shrout. Indeed, we will assemble his first PC-from-parts this coming weekend. (Fingers crossed the Newegg Open Box mobo is functional!)

PS: Please inform me when the next PCPer Annual Creation Museum Outing rolls around ;)

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