By Marc Saltzman
Q: I’m a video game fan, but I find my
Xbox gets full quickly. Is there an easy
fix to the storage issue?
A: While your Xbox video game console does have
some built-in storage, it sounds like you’re running
out of space with all of your game downloads and
installation files. It’s hardly a surprise, as today’s
games average 35 to 50 gigabytes (GB) apiece, so
many gamers (including yours truly) must resort to
uninstalling games to add new ones. You might also
have other media stored on the local drive, such as
Thankfully, a new 2 terabyte (TB) external hard
drive from Seagate called Game Drive for Xbox can
be used with both Xbox One and the older Xbox
360 console. Because 2 TB is the equivalent to
roughly 2,000 GB, you’ll have more than enough
storage capacity for dozens of games.
The drive looks spiffy, with a green-and-black
design to match the distinctive Xbox colors. More
important, it has been configured to work with your
console—simply insert it into an available USB port
on the console. Because it’s small and portable and
gets its power from the console itself, the Game
Drive for Xbox is easy to take to a friend’s place to
play on another Xbox One or Xbox 360. All of your
saves and in-game achievements are also saved to
the external hard drive for your convenience.
Q: I’m very active and use my phone
and camera in many different con-
ditions. Often, they run out of
juice. Have any tips?
A: Before I suggest some smartphone
battery-saving tips, I want to mention
that carrying a portable power pack is a
good idea as it can charge your smartphone and point-and-shoot camera
when you don’t have access to an outlet.
These external batteries are about
the size of a deck of cards or a tube of
lipstick. They can charge your phone or
camera on the go—you just plug the device
into an available USB port on the backup
battery. Some of them let you charge two
devices at the same time.
When you’re shopping for a portable
power pack, remember that the higher the
milliamp number (e.g., 10,000 mAh), the
more times you can charge your device, but
the bigger the backup battery will be.
Now, some smartphone power-saving tips:
Dim the screen. Turn down the brightness of
the screen a good deal. The brightness control can be
found in the Settings menu. On a related note, also
set your screen to turn off after a minute of inactivity.
Disable some wireless features. Unless you
need them, turn off as many of your phone’s wireless
functions, such as GPS, Bluetooth, NFC and Wi-Fi,
as you can.
Turn off push notifications. Reduce the frequency with which you ask your smartphone to
receive new information, such as incoming email
messages, as it needs to “ping” a server to send you
the updated data each time. Instead, choose to “pull
down” messages when you need to. Also be aware
that many apps, like games and sports apps, offer
energy-using push notifications.
See if there’s a power-saving mode. Many new
phones let you select a power-saving mode or ultra
power-saving mode in Settings, which often turns
the screen to black and white, darkens the display,
turns off nonessential wireless features and more.
Make sure the apps are closed. Be sure to properly close apps when you’re not using them as they
still might be running in the background and thus
using up power (and possibly data). With iPhone, for
example, double-tap the Home button and swipe up
to close open apps.
Apps matter. The battery will drain faster if
you’re doing tasks that demand more of the system’s
resources, such as watching video or playing multiplayer games. Multitasking, such as listening to
music while surfing the Web, can also contribute to
faster battery drain. C
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Game on! Have questions about electronics or computers
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Costco? Email them to:
Or mail to:
Q&A with Marc Saltzman
The Costco Connection
P.O. Box 34088
Seattle, WA 98124-1088
or fax to: 425-313-6718.
“Marc Saltzman Q&A”
in the subject line. Marc
will answer selected ques-
tions in this column. We
regret that unpublished
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a leading high-tech
to more than three
on radio and TV, and is
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The Costco Connection
You can find the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox (Item
#950370) in your local Costco and at Costco.com.
Also, a selection of portable batteries is available in
the warehouses and at Costco.com. Many of your
electronics purchased at Costco come with free
tech support through Costco Concierge Services.
Storage solutions for your Xbox games
In our digital editions
Click here for a look at the Seagate Game
Drive for Xbox. (See page 13 for details.)