Over a week since it’s announcement at akihabaranews.com, the Samsung Mini S2 USB 2.0 external hard disk line comes in “Ocean Blue”, “Sweet Pink”, and “Snow White” variants. And yes, it’’s designed for the ladies.
Slightly bigger than its predecessor the S1, the Mini S2 takes advantage of the increasingly roomy 2.5″ hard disk platform, offering capacities of up to 500GB. Keeping with the feminine theme, the casing is designed to not look out of place in a handbag, as the pic below illustrates:
No word yet on pricing, but the S2 should be available throughout only South Korea by the end of this month. I wonder if this product was inspired by this old external hard disk design concept?
To recap, RAID is basically a way of linking drives together, either to improve the disk read/write speed of a computer, provide a data backup that immediately kicks in upon failure, or a combination of both. And yes, most RAID setups involve the use of hard drives, with some enthusiasts opting to use solid-state drives.
But Daniel Blade Olson is on the fringe, creating his own RAID array on Mac OS X with five 3.5″ flopppy disk drives, five floppy disks, one generic USB hub, and one 1995 iMac G3. Obviously a useless achievement, since the total available space provided by the setup was around 4.22 megabytes:
Now I know this is now just a 4.22 MB drive (acutally it is 3.9MB of usable disk space when mounted). I also understand that carrying 5 USB floppy drives around is not exactly portable, but there is something special and amazing about the speed of this floppy cluster. It is really cool when you access the drives the way they flash each light and spin in no particular order that I can discern. It is of course faster than a standard single drive. I was able to transfer “DEVO Uncontrolable Urge.mp3″ which is 3.6 MB in 32 seconds. Which is pretty good I think.
Ah yes, pointless experimentation. What keeps the internet fun and entertaining.
Tom’s Hardware recently put a bunch of “hand-held drives with up to 500GB” through their respective paces. All drives connect to PCs via USB 2.0. Despite the curious choice of including a 320GB and (a 1.8″) 120GB drive in that round-up, the conclusion is clear:
Consumers: Go Samsung
That leaves Samsung, Seagate and Western Digital. Performance differences clearly shouldn’t dictate your purchasing decision here. All three offer backup and encryption paired with great style. Samsung clearly focuses on consumers, while Seagate and WD also support synchronization and go after real enthusiasts.
Enthusiasts: Pick Seagate or Western Digital
Seagate has the optional drive dock that increases usability; WD offers a capacity gauge and better data management features. Both are equipped with LEDs and a power management feature. Seagate’s LEDs light up the Seagate curl on the aluminum cover, while Western Digital utilizes LEDs to drive the capacity gauge.
A bit close to my previous assertion: if you’re looking for a great USB 2.0 hard drive, you can do no better than the Western Digital Passport Essential (the consumer variant of the Passport Elite reviewed by Tom’s Hardware). Available in various capacities, the gigabyte-per-dollar ratio increases as you approach 500GB.
(Image courtesy of Western Digital)
The Slim Data USB Card from TopTech Products is quite simple: strip down a flash drive to its bare essentials, and cram what’s left into a plastic case a quarter-of-a-centimeter thick, featuring the breadth of your average credit card. Now you have a thumbdrive that fits nicely into your typical wallet, as well as a potentially interesting—and useful—giveaway for your business’ next convention.
It’s also easy to imagine self-styled internet celebrities handing out their own data business cards, containing a personal profile and CV. Let’s also not forget the portable browser configured to load said celebrity’s main website.
Just like most flash drives, the Slim Data USB Card works with Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. The press release I received mentions 1GB and 4GB variants being available in clear, gray, orange, red, and blue. Though we only saw the 4GB version (priced at $25) on TopTech’s website.
Well, not “SSD” in the exact sense, unless you consider “Solid State Drives” to mean anything flash-based used as a computer disk. Basically, the CompactSTOR CS1T from Sandisk is basically a 2.5-inch SATA enclosure designed to accept Compact Flash cards. Its dimensions (3.9″ x 2.8″ x 0.37″ in width, depth, and thickness) mimic that of your typical 2.5-inch hard drive, and so long as your CF card has a capacity of 32GB of lower, it will work with the CS1T.
What do you think? Personally, the CS1T’s maximum capacity limits its potential usefulness. 32GB may be enough for a lot of people, but not for a portable packrat like me. Those video, music, and picture collections require a lot of space! And those mainstream OSes also require a lot just to get working.
To be clear, Western Digital actually released the RE4-GP series of enterprise-class hard drives, with a max capacity of 2 terabytes. That’s two-thousand gigabytes by the way, in case you were wondering.
Aside from such roomy capacity, the RE4-GP series promises a 64MB cache (your high-end consumer-level hard drives usually features 32MB only), and a sustained transfer rate of up to 110 megabytes per second. There are four platters within the unit, each capable of storing 500GB each.
Only about 7 to 8 watts are needed to run the hard disk, highlighted as part of Western Digital’s marketing strategy to show how their products save power and thus the environment. Oh, and this is a 3.5″ hard drive, which makes it unsuitable for laptops, notebooks, and netbooks.
The price? Suggested is $329. That’s about 6.08 gigabytes to the dollar. Amazing economics, no? Just make sure to look for model number WD2002FYPS to be certain.
My 250GB Western Digital My Passport Essential external hard drive is a personal favorite. Through months of heavy use, I’ve never experienced any issues or troubles with the unit, and the transfer speeds on this thing through USB 2.0 are fast. And as a satisfied reviewer on NewEgg writes: “It produces almost no heat”. Most importantly, the drive itself is very compact and portable. Read more
At least, based on first impressions. What else are you to think, when the Aegis Mini:
- Is similar in size to a deck of playing cards
- Features shock-mounts that protect from daily wear and tear somewhat
- Weighs only 3.7 ounces
- …and connects to computers through an integrated 1-meter cable that can neatly wrap around the unit itself?
USB and FireWire variants are available. According to CrunchGear: “$149, $189 and $269 for the 80GB, 120GB and 240GB, respectively. The FireWire models go for $10 more than their USB counterparts.” Full details to follow if and when we get our grabby hands on a review unit.
(Image from Apricorn)
Whoever came up with the USB tampon deserves some credit. He (or she) didn’t only just cram flash drive electronics into an everyday object. Marketing wording was coined to complement the setup! Instead of simply listing “capacities”, meninos lists “data flows”. How witty!
(Image from meninos, thanks Geekologie!)
Here’s our own special Star Trek related promo, as promised yesterday: get a chance to win the Star Trek Messenger bag pictured above!
So how can you enter?