GNARBOX recently launched their latest Kickstarter campaign for the GNARBOX 2.0 SSD. This portable hard drive allows you to backup, store, and, even edit your photos and videos. Their version 1.0 which also launched on Kickstarter gained a huge amount of popularity and the campaign for version 2.0 is doing extremely well.
Portable hard drives are something I'm very enthused about and I find them to be extremely useful. When I'm working on location and away from my computer I tend to feel a little uneasy about having all of my work on a few SD or CF cards. Having that extra backup is very reassuring and helps reduce any risk by a significant degree. The backup also serves as a one point source for all of the data meaning I'm not fiddling through a bunch of SD cards trying to find everything when I do return home. The GNARBOX 2.0 SSD, however, seems to be much more than just a portable backup solution, and I'm actually very excited about it.
Design and Hardware
I had the pleasure of discussing the GNARBOX 2.0 with Tim Feess and Will Africano which provided a great insight into the thought process behind this new product. Personally, I think the new design is fantastic and the addition of the OLED screen is very welcome. I'm really not a fan of LED lights describing the status of a device, they tend to leave me frustrated and it's just not as effective or reassuring as having a screen that describes things clearly. One of the great things about the GNARBOX was its durability. Feess and Africano both confirmed that the addition of the OLED screen will not cause any issues when it comes to durability and if anything, it may even be more durable and resistant.
Another fantastic new feature is the 3200mAh 7.4V lithium-ion removable battery. The problem with having an internal battery is that after a period of time they may not operate as effectively and due to this may cause issues. The 2.0 now comes with a removable battery which means not only can this potentially extend the overall life of the device but, you can use additional batteries for extended use. Even with it being removable, the GNARBOX remains waterproof down to 1m for 30 minutes which I think is incredible A docking charger system was discussed to charge multiple batteries at a time, however, this may not be immediately available when the 2.0 gets released.
The biggest update to the hardware is the fact that the 2.0 now houses a very fast SSD drive up to 1TB as opposed to the previous generations HDD drive. Together with an Intel Quad Core 2.40GHz CPU, 4 Core Intel HD Graphics GPU, 867mbps 802.11 ac/b/g/n WiFi, and 2/4GB DDR3 RAM make this a very capable and powerful device. This essentially means, it's no longer just a backup and storage device and you can actually stream and edit pretty demanding content.
Great hardware is one thing, however, GNARBOX has continued to develop their software too and this is where things really interesting. Personally I'm not one for editing on location, however, there have been quite a few occasions where a client wanted something they could see relatively quickly from a shoot and sending unedited files is always a little unnerving for me. The fact that the 2.0 is so much faster both internally and via WiFi makes this very useful. I or an assistant could perform some quick edits without needing to wait around for files to transfer, and send something to clients which won't make me worry about what they might think. I prefer to cut back on any unnecessary weight and therefore in many cases, the laptop is left behind for an iPad instead. The four new apps will work extremely well with how I work and I'm sure there are many others who prefer a more lightweight solution when on location.
This app is fairly straightforward and allows for backup and organization of your files. This is probably going to be the one I use most purely because I won't always be editing on location. Being able to access, organize and connect to Dropbox makes this a very useful app. The ability to sync with Dropbox means that I could potentially have files sent directly to an editor even before I arrive home. Organizing folders helps with this too because I may not want all of my files to be sent an editor.
This is an app I'll probably be using frequently because it allows you to rate all of your images and also perform some quick edits on the go. This is obviously aimed more towards photographers and that, of course, includes me.
This app is super cool and something I'm properly excited about. The new hardware and proxy processing capabilities in the GNARBOX 2.0 allow you to edit 4K footage wirelessly with this app. With this app you can create a rough cut or "sequence" and then when you're back home or in the office, you can continue editing where you left off. When discussing this with Feess and Africano, they mentioned how the main challenge was to reduce the time it takes to create the proxy files and with the 2.0 they've made some huge leaps forward in that regard. Although the SSD helps with the speed it's also the addition of the much more powerful processor and RAM that really help improve the performance.
The Showcase app allows you playback files on larger screens like monitors and televisions. This is great if you need to show your footage to clients whilst working on a project or demonstrating your work once complete.
The Kickstarter campaign has been very successful with the target being achieved in less than an hour. Currently, the pledges sit at almost $560,000 and I'm really happy about this. I'm genuinely excited about the GNARBOX 2.0 because this seems to be an incredible update. This may no longer be just a backup solution, it's potentially a very useful tool to help throughout the creative process.