Toshiba announced this week that they will be introducing a line of mobile external hard drives based on their 1.8-inch HDD platform. These new drives will be available in 40GB, 80GB and 120GB capacities. The company has also expanded its line of 2.5-inch external hard drives to include a 320GB model.

Toshiba Storage Device Division (SDD), the industry pioneer in small form factor hard disk drives (HDDs), today announced it will introduce a mobile personal storage line based on its market-leading 1.8-inch HDD, along with the industry’s highest-capacity portable external hard drive based on the 2.5-inch HDD platform at 320GB.

As the only HDD supplier with a proven track record in marketing 1.8-inch HDDs, Toshiba is the first HDD manufacturer to introduce a 1.8-inch external product. In addition, Toshiba has completely redesigned its personal storage line with a sleek, contemporary look to complement other technology appliances.
While Toshiba’s 1.8-inch external HDDs won't be available until spring, their new 2.5-inch 320GB external HDD will hit stores later this month for a suggested retail price of $199.99. More information can be found here. Add a comment
Verbatim announced this week that it will be debuting its family of SmartDisk 2.5” Portable Hard Drives at CES 2008. These new palm-sized drives come in sizes ranging from 120GB up to 320GB and offer your choice of a USB interface or Combo USB/FireWire interface.
Leveraging the resources gained with the purchase of SmartDisk Corporation’s external hard drive (HD) assets in July 2007, Verbatim Americas, LLC launched today a whole new line of SmartDisk 2.5” Portable Hard Drives (HDs). With the new elegantly designed HDs, consumers and businesses can immediately add 120, 160, 250, or 320GB of removable capacity without having to open their computer. The palm-sized external drives will be available for both Windows and Mac users later this month with retail prices starting at US$99.00.
If you'd like to read more, Verbatim's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
At a recent press event, Toshiba launched its new digital video recorder (DVR), the HD DVD VARDIA RD-A301. Using its built in HD Transcoder, the RD-A301 can record 159 hours of high-def video to its built in hard drive or nearly 16 hours onto a 30GB HD DVD disc. The RD-A301 also supports Toshiba's new HD Rec feature which allows it to record up to two hours of high-def video onto a single layer DVD-R disc.

Toshiba Corporation today announced the launch of a new digital video recorder (DVR) with HD DVD drive that integrates key new features that bring greater freedom of recording to the HD DVD, including recording of HD video to standard DVD discs. The new DVR, HD DVD VARDIA RD-A301, integrates HD Transcoder, which achieves longer recording time for high-definition (HD) video, and also supports"HD Rec", which allows recording of HD video to standard DVD discs in HD quality. The RD-A301 will be available in the Japanese market in the middle of December, and advance orders will be accepted from November 1.

The RD-A301 integrates an HD Transcoder that converts MPEG2 video, the standard for digital HD broadcasts, to MPEG4 AVC, a high-efficiency video compression technology that supports longer recording times while maintaining picture quality. As a result, longer HD videos can be recorded to HD DVD-R discs. The DVR also supports "HD Rec", which facilitates recording of HD video on conventional DVD discs, such as DVD-R discs. "HD Rec" allows a single-layer 4.7GB DVD-R disc to store up to two hours of HD video, working in combination with HD Transcoder.
The HD DVD VARDIA RD-A301 will ship in mid-December and is expected to cost about 100,000 Yen ($868US). More information, including a full list of specs, can be found here. Add a comment
Plextor Europe recently announced a new range of external hard disk drives. In addition to a USB interface, the PX-PH120US, PX-PH160US and PX-PH250US feature a eSATA (external Serial ATA) connection which allows them to reach speeds of 200 Mb a second.

Plextor Europe ( announces the launch of its new range of external hard disk drives: PX-PH120US, PX-PH160US and PX-PH250US. The digits in these product models refer to the disk capacity in gigabytes. In addition to a USB interface, users benefit from an eSATA (external Serial ATA) connection to boost the speed of these external drives. They are still as small and lightweight as the highly successful range of previous PX-PH08U2, PX-PH12U2 and PX-PH16U2 hard disks. Good news all round.

PCs are generally fitted with a Serial ATA interface to connect their internal hard disk drives to the motherboard. We are now extending this connection to external hard disks to deliver the same performance as with internal hard disks. Rudy De Meirsman, Sales & Marketing Manager for Plextor Europe, gives the details: “Hard disks using the USB 2.0 interface typically operate at 33 Mb a second. With the eSATA interface, we can reach speeds of 200 Mb a second. As users are becoming far more mobile, they need a larger capacity external disk so they can carry their office without their PC. I’m convinced this is the way forward!”
No word on price yet. However, the PX-PH120US, PX-PH160US and PX-PH250US will be available in Europe at the end of November. Full details can be found here. Add a comment
While not optical storage related, its worth mentioning that Toshiba has introduced a 250GB version of its USB 2.0 portable external hard drive. This pocket sized hard drive features a special shock mounting system and can be powered off a computer's USB bus.

Toshiba Storage Device Division (SDD), the industry pioneer in small form factor hard disk drives (HDDs), today added a 250GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive - the highest capacity available in this form factor - to its lineup of personal storage devices and introduced a new line of internal notebook HDDs for mobile PCs to meet the growing demand for personal storage solutions.

Addressing the explosion in digital video, music, photos and information content, the new 250GB 2.5-inch portable external hard drive is capable of storing up to either 71,000 digital photos, 65,000 MP3 music files, 110 hours of DVD videos or 29 hours of high-definition videos. Toshiba's click-free, switch-free and button-free backup solution is bundled with the award-winning NTI Shadow software, enabling even digital novices to easily embrace data backup and enjoy peace-of-mind in knowing critical and cherished digital files are protected.
Toshiba's USB 2.0 portable external hard drives are available in capacities ranging from 120GB to 250GB and cost anywhere from $109.99 to $189.99. More information is available on Toshiba's website. Add a comment