Drives geared for thin notebooks, ultraportables
Toshiba has expanded its line of small hard drives with several 1.8-inch offerings featuring capacities up to 320GB. The MKxx33GSG series is available in 160GB, 250GB, and 320GB sizes, each based on dual-platter configuration. The drives feature a 16MB cache buffer, 5,400RPM spindle speed and transfer rates of up to 830Mb/s.
OWC Modbook upgrades
Other World Computing (OWC) has released new upgrade options for the Axiotron Modbook Mac-tablet. The available components include memory modules, hard drives and optical SuperDrives. Users can choose to have their orders outfitted with 6GB of RAM and single or dual hard-drive configurations, with capacities of up to 750GB when combining a 500GB HDD in the primary drive bay and 250GB HDD in the secondary bay. Customers can forgo the two-drive option and instead add a SuperDrive that features 8x DVD-R burn speeds and support for Dual-Layer discs.
Sans Digital has unveiled its latest RAID storage device, the 4-bay MR4UT enclosure. A RAID controller and 400MB per second I/O processor are integrated into the housing, eliminating the need for separate hardware or drivers. Users can configure the drives as RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 3, 5 or JBOD arrays, with the option to keep one drive as a hot spare to be used if an active drive fails. The HDD trays support 3.5-inch hot-swappable SATA I and SATA II drives, with write speeds claimed to reach 210MB per second and write speeds of 170MB per second via eSATA connections, with lower speeds when using the USB 2.0 interface.
400GB Toshiba laptop drive
Playing catch-up with competitors Hitachi and Samsung -- both of which have begun shipping 500GB laptop drives -- Toshiba has finally announced a new 400GB high-capacity drive along with a new line-up of high-performance 7,200rpm 2.5-inch HDDs. The new 400GB drive boosts areal density to 477Mbit/s (308Gbpsi) to achieve a capacity of 400GB on just two platters and is touted as its "low-noise flagship model." The new 400GB notebook drive (MK4058GSX) is expected to hit mass production in September and will target both notebook PC and consumer electronic applications; however, the company expects to ramp up production of its higher performance 7,200rpm models of its current drives next month, including the 320GB (MK3254GSY) model and the smaller 80GB, 120GB, 160GB and 250GB capacities.
CW: SSD drives overrated
People contemplating SSD versions of computers like the MacBook Air -- which costs approximately $1,300 more than the HDD edition -- may not find the performance difference worthwhile, writes Computerworld. The magazine has conducted a test of 32GB SSDs by Crucial and Ridata, in comparison to two 7200rpm hard drives by Seagate. All four drives used cloned copies of Vista Home Premium, and were benchmarked by software called HD Tach.
Sans Digital HDDRACK5
Sans Digital has released a new storage rack for hard drives, the HDDRACK5. The tower holds up to five 3.5-inch SATA hard drives, locked into place with turnbuckle screws; when attached to a 20- or 24-pin ATX supply, an on/off switch controls the power of all drives simultaneously. For dissipating heat the tower uses a 4.7-inch fan, and a hollow aluminum frame.
UltraDock HDD adapter
WiebeTech has announced a new hard drive adapter, the UltraDock. Intended mainly for professionals, the adapter lets users connect "bare" drives to a computer externally, in this case both 3.5-inch IDE/PATA drives and 2.5/3.5-inch SATA disks. Users can connect to a computer using eSATA, USB 2.0 or FireWire 400 ports, or one of two FireWire 800 connections.
LaCie 500GB Rugged HDs
LaCie on Tuesday announced its newest Rugged Hard Disk with a 500GB capacity. To protect the generous amount of mobile data, the drive is encased in a scratch-resistant aluminum shell which is then surrounded by a shock-resistant rubber bumper. That disk is Hitachi's 2.5-inch Travelstar 5K500, available with either a standard USB 2.0 or an optional USB 2.0/FireWire 400/800 interface for faster transfer speeds.
WD My Passport Elite drive
Hard drive maker Western Digital has announced a new line of external USB drives, the My Passport Elites. The drives weigh less than 5oz, and are in theory small enough to fit in a pocket; they are nevertheless entirely USB powered, and are available in 250 and 320GB capacities. Like some other WD drives an external gauge shows how much space is left, and files are safeguarded using 128-bit encryption. Automatic backup software is included.
Samsung 2.5-inch 500GB HDD
South Korea's Samsung has announced the release of a new hard drive, what it is calling the world's first 2.5-inch hard drive to reach a 500GB capacity. Although it fits into the standard 0.37-inch vertical space reserved for notebook disks, it nevertheless uses three stacked 167GB platters, spinning at 5,400rpm. An 8MB buffer is present, and it interfaces with systems using a 3Gbps SATA connection. Pricing is $299.
Harman Kardon does Blu-ray
Harman Kardon today announced its support for the Blu-ray video standard, and confirmed this by hinting at a standalone player, which will cost approximately Ł500 (~$980). While details were scarce about the Blu-ray player, a spokesman for the company adds that it will release additional players, including all-in-one AV systems, according to What Hi-Fi?. In addition, the forthcoming DVC 600 combination Blu-ray/HDD recorder will be able to record up to eight channels of standard or high-definition TV to a 1 Terabyte hard drive.
G-Tech 500GB, 1TB drives
G-Technology, just absorbed by rival Fabrik, has announced two upcoming external hard drives. The first of these is a new version of the G-RAID mini, raised in capacity from 500GB to 1TB. The Mini is intended to be a portable RAID drive, using a striped (RAID 0) configuration. FireWire 400, 800 and USB 2.0 connections are available; when using FireWire 800, the drive is said to be fast enough to stream multiple video layers in apps such as Final Cut Pro. The drive is further equipped with a fan and heat sink, making is less susceptible to failure. It is Mac and PC compatible, and should ship sometime in March.
Toshiba 2.5", 1.8" drives
Toshiba has introduced several new external hard drives, in a bid to upgrade both capacities and appearance. All the drives now have a smaller footprint, and in some cases the option of three different wave-like color patterns: red, gray and green. Currently out is a new 2.5-inch drive, boosting the capacity of the series to 320GB. 160 and 250GB versions remain available; the 320GB model is $200.
The company is also debuting completely new 1.8-inch drives, sized at 60, 80 and 120GB. These will be ready in the spring at unannounced prices, though it is known that they will come with backup and encryption software. [via Mobile Magazine]
JVC unveils GPS deck
JVC unveiled its new KD-NX7000 combination CD/DVD player with built-in GPS navigation, and has announced the return of its KD-NX5000 unit. The device features a 7-inch LCD, and a removable smart faceplate that includes a proximity sensor, illuminating buttons as the user’s hand approaches. Users can also play media and use navigation resources simultaneously. The player comes preloaded with real-time traffic information for over 80 metropolitan areas in the US and Canada, with over 12 million points of interest. Maps are upgradable, while traffic reporting relies on the built-in NAVTEQ traffic RDS tuner. Pricing and availability for the new unit was not available.