CES 2006 was bigger than ever with events and vendors at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Alexis Park, the Las Vegas Hilton, and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. All you can do is hope to see everything you wanted to. The press parties help and the best are Pat Meir’s Lunch @ Piero’s and ShowStoppers. The following is information I gathered from the companies at the booths, or from the press kits. Hard Drives, CD/DVD and camera media - or related matter. Prices stated are subject to change and rounded up (I hate the .99 marketing.)
By Terry Currier
See also overview of: Storage Video Projectors Navigation Preserving Memories Blu-ray & HD Flash Drives
Abcron Actiontec ADS Technologies Advanced Media BenQ Digital Innovations D-Link IOGEAR Kingson LaCie Lite-On
LG Electronics Mad Dog Maxtor Maxell Media Gear Norcent Samsung Seagate Sony Verbatim Western Digital
Abcron (PlayO) www.abcron.com
The Playo Ejector is a cool way to store a CD/DVD disc. The disc is held in suspended storage in the interior of the Ejector case and the disc is ejected halfway out of the casing by pressing the ejector trigger. This allows the user to remove the CD easily without touching the sensitive data surface. In particular, the bonding layer on DVDs is not subject to any stress.
They are also shipping the 2.4x PlayO Double Layer DVD +R, and a series of scratch resistant DVD and mini-DVD products. These PlayO discs with Scratch Shield technology protect valuable files with a damage resistant surface layer that guards against scratches, finger smudges, dust and ultraviolet rays. They provided up to 40 times greater durability than regular DVDs.
For an easy way to add shared storage to your home network they are marketing a Network Attached Storage (NAS). Simple to set up, simple to use, this device allows you to share music, pictures and other files. In the past, shared files were loaded on a computer. To access those files, that computer needed to be on. Now with the NAS, your files are in a central location so you always have access. You don’t need any other computer to be on. It can be set up to share all, or some of its capacity with certain computers on your network. Its not OS dependent, non-Windows computers can also access the NAS. Its also easy to expand if you need more space; simply connect a second USB hard drive to it, and the NAS does the rest. Included is an integrated FTP (file transfer protocol) server, so you can access the device from any computer with Internet access. MSRPs for the Ethernet attached storage products are $150 for no hard drive, $265 for 160GB and $330 for 250GB. MSRPs for Actiontec wireless network storage products are $185 for no hard drive, $299 for 160GB and $360 for 250GB. Auto Backup ability is included. Features:
ADS Technologies www.adstech.com
Showcasing its new Network Attached Storage (NAS) Drive Kit which is a 5.25-Inch drive enclosure that converts the user’s own 3.5” Ultra ATA hard drive into a NAS device for instantly sharing data across a home or office network. The US$130 kit can be used as an instant network server, an FTP, Web server, or a data back-up server. It also supports the BitTorrent protocal for peer-to-peer file transfers. Users can add it to a wired Ethernet or Wireless 802.11 G network without opening the PC. No user configuration or knowledge of IP addresses is required. An auto-discovery feature automatically adds the NAS device to all attached clients upon connection to the network.
The SimpleTouch HD Kit is an external drive enclosure that enables PC, Mac and network users to convert any IDE Ultra DMA 33/66 or ATA-100/133 hard disk drive into a portable USB 2.0 drive. In addition to featuring an SimpleTOUCH Back-up button that enables backup with a single click, the kit includes software that simplifies the setup of convenient, automatic backups. With an MSRP of US$60 users get 480Mbits/sec data throughput.
Advanced Media (RIDATA) www.ritekusa.com
Advanced Media, Inc., is the manufacturer and marketer of the RIDATA brand of recordable CD and DVD media, electronic storage products and accessories. Just added to their product line is the unbalanced Secure Digital memory card. The uses for this product will be centered on two parts of SD memory formation: encrypted output control segment and accessible data segment. However, data in the encrypted area can be accessed from the data segment. Numerous applications and industrial products can be derived from the structure of the unbalanced SD: GPS maker and mapping software will benefit by selling their map geographically while keep the main navigation program intact. Available in capacities of 384MB (256MB free space and 128 secure storage), 768MB (512 free space and 128MB secure space), and 1.5GB (1024 free space with a 512 encrypted area).
The company has added to its white inkjet printable media offering with the RIDATA 4X Dual Layer DVD-R. They have a 8.5GB capacity and feature a white printable surface. The dual-layer disc has enough storage space for up to four hours of DVD-quality video, 16 hours of VHS-quality video, or over 120 hours of MP3 audio. Their Secure Digital is now at 150X speed. The new Mini Secure Digital PRO is an ultra-compact form factor SD with a 66x fast write speed and is compatible with all digital devices featuring a MMC/SD slot with an adapter. Available up to 512MB capacities.
It saves photos and videos directly from your flash memory to CD with a touch of a single button, plays DVDs, CDs, MP3s, and also serves as an external CD writer and multi-card reader/writer.
Secure Digital cards (150x), Capacity: 128MB-2GB
MMC Mobil (150x), Capacity: 32MB, 64MB-512MB
MMC (150x), Capacity: 32MB-2GB
Compact Flash, Capacity: 16MB to 4GB
Also MultiMedia, Smart Media, Mini SD, RS MMC, MMCombile Flash, and MicroSD
23 in 1 Memory Card Reader
The USB 2.0 RIDATA memory card reader will read 23 media card formats.
Expanding storage product line they have two new external drives designed for portability and feature double-layer recording capability. The TW200D offers 24x CD-ROM and 8x DVD-ROM read speeds as well as 2.4x DVD+R double layer, 8x/4x DVD+R/RW. The unit weighs approximately 14.5 ounces, and the casing dimensions are 5.5" (wide) x 0.85" (height) x 6.2" (deep). USB 2.0 interface the MSRP is $299. The EW16GA provides 48x CD-ROM and 16x DVD-ROM read speeds as well as 8x/4x DVD+R/-R double layer, and 16x/8x DVD+R/RW write speeds. The unit weighs approximately 3.35 lbs, and the casing dimensions are 6.7" (wide) x 2.4" (height) x 9.5" (deep). Uses a Firewire 1394, USB 2.0 or USB OTG (On-The-Go) interface MSRP is $249. Both will be available March 2006. They have staring a new line of CDR LightScribe and DVDR media. The 52x CDR media supports the LightScribe direct-disc-labeling technology that burns text and graphics on the surface of the CD, and comes in quantities of 25.
Digital Innovations www.digitalinnovations.com
If your favorite CD, PlayStation game or DVD movie is skipping, freezing or just won’t play, you can restore it to good-as-new shape with SkipDR AutoMax™ (MSRP $40.) It repairs disc scratches in 60 seconds. Just spray the ailing disc with the resurfacing fluid included in the package, slip it into the slot, and the motorized radial wheel will automatically remove a microscopic layer of plastic on the playside while leaving the contents intact. Dry and shine the disc with the special cloth and buffing square provided, and you’ll have a like-new CD or DVD without the skipping, freezing or booting problems that otherwise would have doomed it to the trash. The resurfacing wheel repairs up to 50 discs and can be replaced for $13 (MSRP).
They are the first company to offer a streaming wireless high-definition media player/server with 100GB of built-in storage and a 5-in-1 media card reader and USB port on the front panel. The D-Link Wireless HD Media Server (DSM-5210R) stores content that can be streamed to other MediaLounge devices in the home network. It features integrated storage, so users can either stream content from another computer, a network storage device, or access it directly from the internal 100GB hard drive. The device supports all the popular media formats, including high-definition video in either Windows Media® Video 9 or MPEG-2 & 4 format up to 1080i resolution. It also supports other media formats like XviD video and Ogg Vorbis audio.
In addition to featuring Microsoft's Windows Media® Connect, which allows users to access their entire library of content protected by Windows Media Digital Rights Management (WMDRM), it will carry Microsoft's PlaysForSure logo certification. It comes in a 17-inch black aluminum frame with a smoked mirror front panel. A one-touch copy feature transfers the contents of removable media directly to the internal storage. The Server features a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) for a digital audio and video connection for use with compatible high-definition televisions. Other video connectors include component, S-video and composite output, ensuring compatibility with virtually all televisions. Setting up is simple, and wireless security settings are configured easily with Windows® Connect Now support.
They make Pocket Card Readers for the Secure Digital Card (SD), MultiMedia Card (MMC) memory cards, Mini-SD, Micro-SD, and Memory Stick. It is an easy way to transfer images and data from memory cards to PCs or Macs. This is particularly handy with products such as digital cameras and MP3 devices. Put the memory card into the side or back of the reader, then plug it into your USB port. Transfer rates are up to 4 times faster than the standard digital camera connection. Comes with a 3 year limited warranty
The Tri-Select 320GB Combo ION Drive is an external drive connected to your computer via FireWire 400 (a.k.a. iLink & IEEE 1394) USB 2.0, or USB 1.1. Transfer rates of up to 400 Mbps (FireWire), and 480Mbps (USB 2.0). Along with utilizing Dantz Retrospect Express (included Free, a $99.00 value), Tri-Select backup allows users to design multiple types of back up prescriptions for their computer, whether backing up a single file or an entire directory, once set up, the Tri-Select button activates each specific backup as it is needed. This can also be used to backup your main hard drive so if it crashes you will not have lost your precious files. No fan needed the design allows for optimal cooling without the need for a noisy fan. Backed by a 1-year Limited Warranty. You can also buy just the casing and put a bigger drive in it.
Kingston Technology www.kingston.com
To support the growing U.S.multifunction mobile or “Smartphone” market Kingston announced the release of microSD expansion memory cards as well as larger capacity miniSD and MMCmobile cards, all shipping immediately. Kingston’s new microSD cards ship bundled with an SD adapter for use as a full-size SD card. To protect against accidental data loss, the adapter has a built-in write-protect switch. The 256-MB card is the first offering in the microSD product line, with larger capacities to follow.
Kingston microSD, MMCmobile and miniSD Cards
Capacity and Features
MSRP (U.S. only).
256-MB microSD card
1-GB MMCmobile card
1-GB miniSD card
Kingston is offering 1-GB versions of both its MMCmobile and miniSD cards. With each carrying a suggested retail price of $82, the 1-GB cards will provide increased storage capacity for new feature-rich multifunction mobile devices.
Little Big Disk
Portable hard drive with a capacities of 320GB and throughput of up to 80MB/s over FireWire 800 (burst transfer rate). Equipped with LaCie's Triple Interface (FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0). Cost starts at 160GB, 5400rpm, 16MB cache for $399 to 320GB, 5400rpm, 16MB cache for $799.
Rugged Hard Drive
A tough and speedy portable hard drive with Triple Interface for people on the go. It's designed to protect data against everyday bumps, bruises and hard knocks. The rugged aluminum shell and rubber bumper protects it from table-height drops. FireWire 800 gives it the edge needed for video editing and digital content creation. Also available in Single Interface of USB 2.0. With triple interface the cost of the 80GB 5400rpm is $199 up to 100GB 7200rpm for $399.
They unleashed an ultra-fast SATA II RAID solution with two hot-swappable drives called the LaCie Two Big in capacities of 500GB or 1TB. It delivers maximum speed of up to 115MB/s in RAID 0. It comes pre-formatted in RAID 0 (called Fast mode) in which the disks are striped together for ultimate speed right out of the box, best for real-time video editing. It can also be configured to RAID 1 (called Safe mode) in which data is mirrored for redundancy in case of drive failure. Concatenation (called Big mode) spans data over both disks so full capacity can be achieved whereby the drive appears as one large volume, or alternatively JBOD mode will show each disk as an independent volume. The LaCie SATA II 3GB/s PCI-X Card 4E is included with Two Big giving four ports for adding multiple units for increased speed and capacity. Cost is $469 (500GB) or $949 (1TB).
Introduced the world’s first DVD optical drive capable of reading and writing to all disc media currently available today, including DVD-RAM and Double-Layer +/- format discs. In addition it incorporates the latest version (1.6x) of Lightscribe labeling technology allowing users to silkscreen any type of artwork right onto the face of the CD or DVD. Users simply burn content data as always onto any LightScribe-compatible media, flip the disc over, reinsert it into the drive and burn a label based on personal artwork, text or photographs. The LiteOn SHM-165H6S “Super All-Write” internal optical DVD burner offers a one-stop archival and presentation solution for anyone. The drive burns Double Layer at 8X speed. Estimated retail price is $80.
LG Electronics www.lgusa.com
Their latest (and smallest) technology the LG’s Micro-SD flash cards has storage capacities ranging from 64MB to 512MB. They are constructed using a proprietary injection molding process, which prevents bending and keeps data secure. As an added data security measure, all LG cards are resistant to water, humidity and dust. A small step-up in size is LG’s Mini-SD Flash RAM memory card. Originally designed to help LG expand the memory of its cell phones without making them too large, the Mini-SD card is now a popular removable storage media option. Complete with SD adapter, this versatile card is ideal for transferring MP3s and digital photos from your computer to your cell phone, and is a great substitute for anyone looking for a smaller alternative to an SD card. Storage capacities ranging from 64MB to 2GB.
Rounding out LG’s line of Flash RAM memory cards is a series of high-capacity SD memory cards ranging from 512MB all the way up to 2GB. These cards have read speeds of 10MB per second, write speeds of 9.5MB per second.
The new External GSA-2166D Super-Multi enables consumers to burn DVD media at true 16x speeds. It has the ability to read and write in all CD and DVD formats including DVD-RAM. In addition to write speeds of 16x for both DVD+R and DVD-R, the unit also features write speeds for DVD+RW to 8x, DVD-RW to 6x and DVD+DL to 4x. It is also equipped with LightScribe technology allowing consumers to produce precise, laser-etched labels directly onto select DVD or CD media. Meanwhile the GSA-2164D (USB external) and the GSA-4167B (internal) are capable of 16x write speeds in DVD+R and DVD- R and 8.5GB double-layer recording. These drives also feature write speeds of 8x for DVD+RW, 6x for DVD-RW and 5x for DVD-RAM. The GSA-4082N Super-Multi is only five inches wide, and ½-inch high, with 8x DVD+R and DVD-R write speeds in addition to 8.5GB double layer recording.
Mad Dog Multimedia www.mdmm.com
The MegaSTOR™ Triple Format - burns up to 9.4 GB of data on one piece of double sided DVD-RAM media or up to 8.5 GB of data on one double layer DVD±RW media. The Triple format can turn your optical storage solution into a virtual hard drive - rewrites up to 100,000 times to a single piece of DVD-RAM media. Backward compatible, it supports any single or double layer DVD±RW, DVD-RAM, CD-R or CD-RW media. External connect with either FireWire or USB.
Announcing a new family of Maxtor OneTouch™ III external storage and backup solutions that offer a range of features, capacities and performance for users. With capacities from 100GB to one terabyte (1,000 GB), they provide easy-to-use, automated backup and restore capabilities for PC and Mac users. It comes with a triple FireWire 800/FireWire 400/USB 2.0 interface, or dual interfaces of FireWire 400 and USB 2.0. For the home PC market, the company is offering a USB 2.0-only interface model that provides basic file-level backup capabilities. The units feature improved acoustics, an inner disk drive casing and shock mounts for additional durability and drive protection. The entirely new user interface is simple to navigate for both Mac and PC users, making it easier to set up and manage data backup, file archiving and system settings. All Maxtor OneTouch external storage and backup systems come with an added data security feature called Maxtor DriveLock™, which provides a password protection option to safeguard contents if the drive is ever lost or stolen. The triple interface will be available late in Q1 2006. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) range from $160 for the 100GB USB 2.0 only version to $480 for the 500GB triple interface solution. MSRP for the 1TB Maxtor OneTouch III, Turbo Edition is $900.
Introduced new DVD Camcorder media that includes new DVD-R camcorder media in five bright colors and new DVD+RW media for camcorders that utilize -R, -RW and +RW media. Each of the new media is available in Maxell’s family-look consumer-friendly packaging. The media is available in a 5-Pack containing bright blue, teal, pink, lime green and orange discs at a suggested retail price of $20. The media offers 1.4GB and 30 minutes of recording capacity.
Their Flash HD to Go is a portable hard drive which comes with a 9 in 1 media card reader. Use it for backing up you PC hard drive, or carry it with you to store your digital camera’s pictures. Weight is .75 pound and connectivity is USB. Available in: 20 GB, 40 GB, and 60 GB. They also introduced their DVD-R Dual Layer media, nearly doubling the capacity of DVD media.
They have two types of flash memory cards in a variety of capacities including a 4GB CompactFlash ™ card, and 2GB SD card. Users can expect approximately 100,000 erase cycles and 10,000 insertions for each style. All feature low power consumption. High-speed, read/write Norcent CompactFlash cards are available in 512MB, to 4GB capacities. These cards are designed for D-SLR, digital still cameras, MP3 players, notebook computers, and other handheld applications. Their SD memory cards feature 512MB, 1GB, and 2GB capacities with high performance. Available now at MSRPs from $36 to $132.
The T133 hard drive series for desktop PCs are a three - platter - system with 7,200 rpm and 8MB cache. Two different interfaces: Serial ATA-II (3.0 GBit/s) with Native Command Queuing (NCQ) and Ultra-ATA-100. NoiseGuard™, SilentSeek™ and ImpacGuard™ though put will guarantee a very low noise level and an improved shock resistance. There are 300 / 400GB available, 133GB formatted capacity per disk. Samsung is planning the introduction of "Perpendicular Recording” with the T166 series in Q2 2006, containing three platters with a storage density of 166GB each, enabling to storage 500GB overall capacity.
Seagate 160GB Portable Hard Drive – the industry's first portable hard drive built with perpendicular recording. Its the market's highest portable drive capacity in a 2.5- inch form factor. Shipping the first quarter 2006, it provides 30% more capacity than comparably sized drives. Safely and easily transport large amounts of data. The chrome-plated, aluminum enclosure absorbs shocks, and weighs only 10.3 oz. Sizes range from 40GB to 160GB, with 2MB or 8MB cache. They’re specially designed, inside and out, to run much cooler than other hard drives. The 5400-RPM hard drives feature a whisper-quiet motor, with no increase in power consumption. Seagate includes BounceBack Express software from CMS.
The 500GB eSATA Pushbutton Back-up Hard Drive provides external data backup and protection at internal speeds up to a 300MB/s interface rate – up to five times faster than existing external storage solutions such as USB 2.0, 1394a. The drive will ship in Q2 calendar year 2006.
These palm-sized drives can fit in your pocket, yet they safely store large business files, music, photos, videos and more. You can even password-protect your files (Windows only). Sleek round shell absorbs shocks, so you never have to worry about your data. Powered by your computer, so you don't need a power supply. Hot-pluggable USB 2.0 interface enables data transfer up to 480 Mbps. Built-in, retractable cable, 3600-RPM drives with 2-Mbyte cache. Comes in 5 GB or 6 GB models.
Smaller than a deck of cards, the Micro Vault drive plugs directly into a USB port with a swivel connector. The drive offers pre-loaded Auto Sync software thatautomatically synchronizes file changes made on the PC's hard drive, allowing for seamless transition of data between locations, and saves up to 10 generations of file changes. It will be shipping in February with a suggested retail price of $230. Sony's refreshed Classic and Turbo Micro Vaults sport sleek, new looks with chrome highlights. Each drive has a convenient one-piece design, with a retractable USB connector - and no cap to misplace. The Classic ranges in capacity from 256MB to 4GB. The Turbo model has a capacity of 1GB to 4GB, a transfer speed of up to 28MB per second, and a read speed of 18MB per second. The drives are preloaded with Virtual Expander, which expands the capacity to virtually store up to three times as much data by automatically compressing and decompressing files. The Micro Vault PRO will feature a capacity of 8GB.
The new Micro Vault with Fingerprint Access features a swipe sensor, and an integrated cradle for desktop use. It offers a 512MB capacity and its Auto Login software stores and automatically enters Web site IDs and passwords - so when a finger is swiped over the drive's sensor, users can gain quick and easy access to online accounts. The biometric drive has encryption/decryption capability that securely protects files and folders, and offers a screen saver lock that protects against unauthorized computer access. All will begin shipping this spring 2006.
Unveiled at the show was the 8GB Store `n' Go USB HD Drives. The ultra-light business card-sized drive meets the needs of people who want to carry large volumes of digital content with them for transfer from one system or location to another. The hot-pluggable USB 2.0 unit works with Windows®, Mac® and Linux®-based computer systems. It will store nearly eight hours of MPEG-1 video, about 2,000 hours of MP3 music, or about 4,000 300dpi color photos. The high-speed 4200-rpm hard drive comes with the protective carry pouch.. It measures 2.75 x 2.125 x 0.375 inches, and weighs approximately 1.8 oz. Approximate street price should be $199.
Mini DVD+R DL Media
Verbatim announced a new Mini DVD+R Double-Layer (DL) disc. Measuring only three inches (8cm) in diameter, the new discs provide a full hour of continuous video capture time on a single side or 2.66GB of storage capacity--almost twice the capacity of current mini DVDR discs. A three-pack will be available in the spring of 2006. The media can also be recorded with drives supporting the +R DL format. For added protection against the scratches and abrasion the media features Verbatim's VideoGard™ technology. The protective coating on the disc surface makes them 40 times more resistant to damage.
WD announced that it has doubled the capacity of its next-generation 10,000 RPM WD Raptor® enterprise Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive to 150GB and has increased the performance of the popular drive with additional features for server and networked storage applications. With its RAFF™ (Rotary Accelerometer Feed Forward) technology the new Raptor maintains steady performance, where rotational vibration from multiple spinning hard drives robs other drives performance. The next-generation drive also offers best-in-class random I/O performance with native command queuing (NCQ), which increases performance by intelligently ordering multiple simultaneous read and write commands, which is common in demanding, multi-user workloads such as servers. Average seek time is 4.6 milliseconds (ms), and comes with a 16 MB cache. Estimated retail pricing $300 USD.
Introducing the world's only manufacturer-produced clear-top hard drive, WD Raptor® X. The unique 10,000 RPM Serial ATA (SATA) hard drives feature 150GB capacity, 16MB cache and NCQ for peak performance. The drives also employ RAFF™. As the only major component inside a PC with moving parts, all hard drives until now have been sealed with a solid metal top. WD Raptor X features a large clear lens embedded in the top through which the read and write action of the drive's head and disk assembly can be viewed while the drive delivers data to PC and Mac® performance enthusiasts in just milliseconds. Additional information, photos and a video about WD Raptor X hard drives may be found at http://www.wdraptorx.com. $350
Lighted Extreme Combo Drive
Can you sing “You Light Up My Hard Drive”? Well Western Digital makes a light-up external hard drive with customizable color settings. Select fast or slow kaleidoscope mode and watch the lights morph across the color spectrum; save color settings, turn off the lights, or power down with the touch of a button. Features both FireWire® and USB 2.0 interface connections; works with both Windows® and Macintosh® systems. They come in 160GB, 250GB, 320GB ($270), 7200 RPM, and a 8 MB Cache.
Easily add portable storage with a WD Passport portable USB hard drive. It is a 2.5-inch, 5400 RPM drive, light and compact, and requires no external power adapter. The case is rugged, and shock-absorbing to protect your valuable data. Offered in capacities from 40 to 120GB.
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