First Impressions: Amber Personal Hybrid Cloud Storage Device

Amber by LatticeWork sets itself apart from competing for hybrid cloud storage devices with the help of Artificial Intelligence.

We discovered the Amber One and Amber Plus AI-powered hybrid cloud storage devices from LatticeWork–which are designed as personal storage clouds that can be of huge use for photographers. As far as startups go in the increasingly crowded hybrid cloud storage market space, LatticeWork has one of the more celebrated pedigrees with its founder being a former director as well as one of the co-founders of Marvell Technology Group. For those not familiar with Marvell, their technologies are crucial in powering many of today’s leading-edge computers, networking equipment, and mobile devices. With ever-increasing amounts of images and videos being captured on a daily basis by photographers, videographers, and the layperson alike, Amber aims to provide a hybrid cloud storage solution that’s simple to set up and easy to manage, while leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence to help keep everything organized.

Tech Specs

Tech specs for the Amber One & Amber Plus taken from Amber’s official spec sheet.

Device
Processor Intel® Dual Core Gemini Lake CPU
1.1GHz Burst up to 2.6 GHz
Memory 2GB 2400MHz DDR4 Onboard Memory
Models Amber One (AM1211-1) / 2 x 1TB HDD
Amber Plus (AM1211-2) / 2 x 2TB HDD
Connectivity
Connection Ports 1 x RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet WAN Port
2 x RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN Port
1 x HDMI 2.0 Output
2 x USB 3.0 Ports (1 x Type-A, 1 x Type-C)
Wireless AC2600 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)
2.4GHz / 5GHz Dual-Band Dual-Concurrent Wi-Fi
4X4 MIMO
Wi-Fi Encryption WPA2 Personal, WPS Support
Access Control Port Forwarding, Virtual Servers
NAT Forwarding UPnP, Port Forwarding, Virtual Servers
DHCP Server, Client List, MAC Binding
IPV6 Static IPv6 (6RD), Static IPv6 (DS-Lite)
Beamforming Yes
Parental Control Yes
Guest Network Yes
Amber OS
Network Protocol SMB, AFP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS
File System Home Folder / Shared Folder: BtrFS
VPHome Folder: LocFS (Optimal Cloud FS)
External Drive: NTFS, FAT32
Supported RAID Type RAID 1, 0
Backup Rsync Client / Rsync Server
Time Machine Server
Snapshot Supports Shared Folder Snapshots
Max. Snapshots per Shared Folder: 256
Max. Snapshots of all Shared Folders: 32768
Local Account Management Max Local User Accounts: 256
Max Local User Groups: 256
Max Shared Folders: 256
Data Security Data Transferring: SSL v3 I TLS v1,
Volume Encryption with AES-256
Supported Client Platform Windows 7 and 10
macOS 10.11+
Supported Browsers Chrome 60+
Firefox 55+
Edge 40+
Safari 10+
Interface Languages English, Traditional Chinese, French, Spanish, German
Companion Apps
Mobile App Amber Manager iOS (10+)
Amber Manager Android (6.0+)
Amber LiFE iOS (10+)
Amber LiFE Android (6.0+)
Desktop App Amber LiFE Windows (7 / 10)
Amber LiFE macOS (10+)
Amber LiFE Apps
Backup Amber LiFE Desktop: Real-time Folder Backup via EzBackup
Amber LiFE Mobile: Auto Camera Roll Backup
Sync Amber LiFE Desktop: Sync Folder Between Desktop and Amber
Casting Output: HDMI + Chromecast + DLNA
Media Format: Videos + Images
Video Streaming HLS streaming for Video Playback with Smart Play
Adaptive Streaming Resolution Based on the Quality of Connection
Support for up to 4 Concurrent Video Streams
Al Indexing On-Device Al Object Recognition of File Contents
Accessibility Companion Apps can Access Amber from the Internet or Local Network
File Versioning VPHome Versioning File System
Version Quantity: Limited Only by Disk Space
Version Retention: Up to 30 Days
Cloud Service 2GB LatticeNest Cloud Storage: Free
Appearance
Size (H x W x D) 6.69 in x 6.30 in x 6.30 in
170 mm x 160 mm x 160 mm
Weight 4.4 lbs / 2000 g
Other
System Fan One, 92 mm x 92 mm
Ring Indicator Adjustable Brightness
Night Mode Feature
Error Notification
Power Recovery Yes
Acoustic Noise Level 19.9dBA at Idle
Power Adapter 65W
Input Voltage 1 00V to 240V AC
Power Frequency 50/60 Hz, Single Phase
Power Consumption 16.0W (Access)
12.4W (HDD Hibernation)
7.1W (Router Only)
Certifications FCC, UL, CE, BSMI, USB-IF, HDMI
Wi-Fi Certifications FCC, NCC, MIC
Warranty 1-YR Standard Warranty
In the  Box Amber Unit x 1
Quick Start Guide x 1
Welcome Card x 1
AC Power Cord x 1
AC Power Adapter x 1
RJ-45 LAN Cable (CAT Se)

 

Ergonomics

Here’s what the Amber looks like from the front. As we said, it’s pretty much just a black box with LED lights, and vents, and ports. Don’t think of it as something Apple-esque; this is something much more on its own playing field.

The top of Amber has this vented area along with the blue ring. This lets you know that it is on and activated.

At the back of the Amber units are the ports: one USB C, one older USB, HDMI, ethernet, and power. Plus there is an LCD screen with info displayed there too.

 

Build Quality

While we got to spend only a short time with the Amber, the demo unit on display looked like a thoughtfully designed black cube with a glowing ring on top, with all of the ports neatly arranged in the back of the device. With an exterior made from high-grade plastics, the Amber features a premium fit and finish that would look right at home inside an Apple store or within a modern home office environment. With the exception of the different storage capacities, both Amber One and Amber Plus look basically identical from the outside.

 

Ease of Use

We spent about 20 minutes with the Amber hybrid cloud storage device along with the desktop and mobile applications you’ll use to manage it as well as to access the data stored onboard the device. Overall, the applications were easy to navigate and seemed well designed. For iPhone users, you can set it up so that Amber will automatically backup your entire camera roll. The AI that powers Amber’s OS, aptly called AmberOS, will help you sort and organize all your images (as per Amber’s PR rep, AI organization of videos will be supported further down the line). A Wireless-AC router is built into each Amber device, so users with slower routers can replace their network equipment and add a hybrid cloud storage device in one fell swoop. If you already have a pretty solid wireless network setup at home or at the office, Amber can work in passthrough mode as well. We will need to thoroughly evaluate the Amber and its companion apps once we receive our review unit.

One of the best things: the drives are swappable!

First Impressions

One of the biggest problems in terms of photography in the digital age is that, unless you’re printing your work, often times your images end up just sitting on a hard drive never to be accessed again. For the average photographer or the layperson with little to no technological know-how, being able to access or show your work remotely and making sure all of your images are backed up can be a daunting task. LatticeWork’s Amber One and Amber Plus are trying to make these seemingly Herculean tasks menial, and so far, it looks like everything they’ve done on the hardware and software front seem to be pointed in the right direction. The Amber One (2x 1TB) and Amber Plus (2x 2TB) are shipping now for US$549 & US$649, respectively. We will be reviewing one of the Amber Personal Hybrid Cloud storage devices comprehensively once we receive our review unit. Please stay tuned for our full review.

Pauleth Ip

Paul is a New York City based photographer, creative, and writer. His body of work includes headshots and commercial editorials for professionals, in-demand actors/performers, high net worth individuals, and corporate clients, as well as intimate lifestyle/boudoir photography with an emphasis on body positivity and empowerment. Paul also has a background in technology and higher education, and regularly teaches private photography seminars. When not working on reviews and features for The Phoblographer or shooting client work, Paul can be seen photographing personal projects around NYC, or traveling the world with his cameras in tow. You can find Paul’s latest work on his Instagram over at @thepicreative.