updated 09:25 am EDT, Mon July 28, 2008
Fabrik's home label SimpleTech today launched a new suite of external hard drives headlined by the [re]drive, its first consciously green hard drive. The new disk is shelled with both an aluminum frame and natural bamboo covers that let the user recycle the external casing much more easily than the plastic from most drives. Choosing these materials also has the upside of cooling the 3.5-inch disk inside without needing fans that add to noise and power draw.
The [re]drive is also faster, SimpleTech notes: a new Turbo USB 2.0 software drive boosts transfer speeds by as much as 25 percent over regular storage, eliminating some of the speed gap between USB and FireWire 400. The speed-up is available immediately for Windows and will be ready soon for Mac OS X users, though the drive will work with any USB 1.1 or 2.0 connection without extra software.
SimpleTech sells a 500GB version of the drive immediately for $160 and bundles it with 2GB of free online backup space through Fabrik's online service; unlimited storage is available for $5 per month.
The company has also launched a complete remake of its SimpleDrive storage for more conventional users. The new edition has a subtler case without the top circular lighting of earlier drives and also brings along the Turbo USB 2.0 boost of the [re]drive and a design that can sit upright with a cradle. It comes in a single color and with prices ranging between $100 for a 320GB disk and $250 for a 1TB model.
A final update sees the Signature Mini notebook-sized hard drives keep the same design as before but add a new 500GB storage level in a similarly new Espresso color as well as a 250GB Ice model. The 500GB Signature Mini is available today for $230 along with all other drives.