Small devices need small parts (Capt. Obvious here). Many devices that require some form of digital storage have long moved on from small hard drives and embraced flash storage since prices have fallen dramatically and continue to do so. For some applications however, a traditional spinner may be worthwhile. Say you need more storage than is physically or monetarily possible. That’s precisely where the ‘ol spinners still reign supreme. Toshiba today announced a new high capacity 320GB 1.8″ hard drive making it the worlds smallest flash drive to claim such a capacity. This minuscule wasteland for digital bits revolves at a faster than average (for the size) 5400 RPM’s and is capable of holding ~ 160,000 of MP3’s or 282 hours of DVD quality video. Not too shabby!
Some media players and ultra-portable devices will surely benefit from this extra breathing room allowing users to store even more while on the go. We all know that at some point hard drives such as these will fade away as non-movable flash storage takes over. For now, the spinners still have some fight left in them. So which would you take: the better battery life associated with non-movable storage or the faster speeds and higher capacities/lower costs of traditional drives?
Live life in the fast line do yuh? Feeling bogged down by the seemingly slow 7,200RPM the higher end/faster 2.5″ drives spin at? Western Digital would like to show you something. Their new WD S25 is a 10k, 2.5″ spinning mobile speedster that will bring even greater agility to those who are always on the go. Blow past previous benchmarks with a sustained read/write times of 128MB/s and a 16MB buffer. Further bolstering this speed demon attitude is the 3.0 GBPS and 6.0 GBPS connectivity options ensuring you don’t hit a bottle neck when it comes down to the finish line. In case you were wondering, WD’s S25 drive happens to be the first 2.5″ drive to claim that coveted 10k SAS nomenclature, ushering in a new era of minutely packaged speed. Naturally, spinning at such speeds sucks down more power than their slower siblings so full on mobile consumers may want to think twice about this drive in particular and instead opt for a speedy SSD. The S25 is currently shipping to several OEM’s and should start appearing for business users in the near future. Don’t forget your helmet and goggles…
No this isn’t some sly Pizza Hut advertisement or reference as JVC’s latest player to get announced literally has everything under one roof — VHS, DVD, and Blue-ray. I stopped watching VHS movies a long, long time ago. Heck, getting spoiled day in and day out with 1080p HD means whenever I do happen to stumble upon a VHS viewing I’m left wanting so much more. But not everyone loves all HD or simply loves those golden oldies that have never made the crossover to digital. For that, VHS is still your medium of choice. Since pretty much all major manufacturers abandon VHS players recently, thrift stores and refurbs were the only channels left to pick up such a player. Not wanting to miss a marketing opportunity nor alienate a fairly large customer base that JVC realizes still exists, the JVC Trifecta player was born. While not the real name (which is the DR-BH250 — see, mine is better), it’s fitting as this new mashup from JVC features the three main physical video formats in use today, again, VHS, DVD, and Blue-ray. No matter what type of movie you have in your collection, if you have this player, you should be set.
I’ve been playing on this whole trifecta thing (hey, I like the word) but there’s one more gem tucked away inside. A 250GB hard drive comes as back up giving you umpteen options to defy movie labels and make every kind of physical and digital copy of your movies that you want. Whether you want to go from VHS -> HDD or DVD -> to Blue-ray etc. your options are covered. Other specs that might tickle your fancy include 1080/60p/24p HD support, BD-Live w/ BONUSVIEW, and AVCHD support. As far as actually connecting all of this tom foolery to your display, you’re presented with a few options: 1 USB port, HDMI CEC interface, and an SD/SDHC card slot. Whataya think? $1,400 + the cost of traveling to Japan to purchase one too much? Ooooh yeah. About that. Release in Japan is scheduled for next month, Novermber. Other countries are left out in the cold as for now there aren’t any exporting plans. Bummer. Better start booking those tickets.
Oh the irony. DVR’s have been happily pleasing end users such as you and I for years. For one, we can break free from the network’s schedule and instead enjoy our TV when wewant to. Second, we can rid our lives of the hell that commercials wreak. From the beginning, TV networks, advertisers, and content owners off all kinds have spoken out again and again of how DVR’s are a poison and how they’ll kill the TV industry. Riiiiight. Kill their over-inflated profit margins, maybe. Kill TV? Hardly. So it’s quite ironic to learn that as DVR’s proliferate further into the mainstream, invading our homes, that TV viewership actually has actually been increasing!
According to USA today, DVR’s now make up 1 in 3 homes which is a considerable bump from 27% of just one year ago. Shows across all several networks such as Fox’s “Dollhouse” have gained 37% while NBC’s “Heroes” saw a 27% gain in viewership in the last year with much of that attributed to delayed viewing via DVR’s. While these are some of the more extreme examples, they’re hardly the only shows or networks benefiting from DVRs.
Isn’t it funny that once big content owners get over the fears of “new technology” and actually start embracing it instead of trying to shield themselves from it, how everyone, both producers and consumers alike simply get along so much better? Now, I’m not about to go hug an NBC producer or writer, but the fact I can now watch Heroes *mostly* free of commerciasl and when I want means I’ll be more likely to continue watching that channel and show. Agreed?
When will they learn…
Because a series of blinking lights is too vague and such things as capacity and I/O support are now old news, WD has taken it upon themselves to usher in the next “gotta-have-it feature” of external hard drives. Ladies and Gents, e-Ink display equipped externals are now here. From here on out, My Book Elite and My Book Studio WD hard drives will now come adorned with a 12-character e-Ink display on the spine giving you a more easily decipherable message as to how much room is really left in your little box of memories.
Further breaking it down, the labels will be available on the USB only My Book Elite and the Firewire 800/USB My Book Studio hard drives.
Ready to buy a new e-Ink hard drive or are you content for now?
Think you have the biggest, baddest TV in town? Sit down because you don’t have anything against Toshiba’s latest beast waiting in the wings. The REGZA 55X1 LED TV has a host of specs that will make any videophile and sports junkie drool. So what about these specs?
- 240 Hz
- LED backlight
- Cell processor (same as PS3)
- 5,000,000 : 1 dynamic contrast ratio
- 7-speaker sound bar
- Opera-based HD web browser
- external 3TB hard drive for time-shifting up to 26 hours of TV from 8 different channels
Remember…this is a TV folks. I can’t really single out any one feature as being “the coolest” as it is all might fine by my standards. It’s worth mentioning the 3TB hard drive and Cell processor are stored in a separate box outside of the TV enclosure that is roughly the size of a first gen Blue-ray player. Even though a second box may put of some, the specs should quickly win them back. After looking further, I guess one certain feature does stand out. With that Cell processor understandably comes some muscle. Muscle that is capable of displaying 8 HD channels at the same time. Sports junkies, this is where you pick up your jaw. Now you can have the coolest party. 8 simultaneous channels at one time is insane. Come on folks, this TV is a beast.
The REGZA is set to go on sale in homeland Japan late this year with hopes of at least 1,000 sales before migrating across the deep blue to the land of the free. One particular “feature” I’m sure you’re all wondering about — the price. Such oozing of technological awesomeness doesn’t come cheap. The privilege for owning the coolest TV comes in at 1 Million Yen (~ $11,115 USD). Ouch. Yes it’s expensive. But, for many, they won’t even blink.
This isn’t Toshiba’s only experiment with injecting Cell processors into TV’s. Sources say a Cell powered 3D TV and even a “Super HD” 4k x 2k model that upconverts 1080p to 2160p (3840 x 2160). All I can say is Toshiba, bring it. Who’s feet are completely covered in drool? Anyone…anyone?
** A few more pictures yearn for your attention just after the click
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Have a need for portable data storage but are often getting thrown around and doused in water? Normally you wouldn’t want to drag along a hard drive for the ride. But, if you are that attached to your 1’s and 0’s, A-Data has a drive that may suit your needs. The SH93 shock resistant and waterproof portable hard drive is the drive to carry along when the road becomes less smooth and a tad more wet. It’s worth noting that this isn’t the hard drive to take deep see diving as anything past 1 meter is likely to have ill effects on the drive’s innards. Also, the water repelling features are only good for about 30 minutes, after which the innards will start a deadly bathing ritual that will surely end its life prematurely. Still, it is definitely more of an outside loving, go *almost* anywhere type of drive that should please the more active individuals out there.
Sizes will come in 250GB, 320GB, 500GB, and 640GB giving you ample storage for just about any needs. Hopefully you like red or yellow as those are your only color choices for now. Pricing is still a tad shifty with nothing set in stone quite yet. Though, for such robust and strong construction, expect to pay a small premium for the benefit. Credit card ready?
For those who need the top-o-the-line when it comes to storage sizes in small packages and also have an affinity for good ‘ol FireWire have a new hotness to lust over. Instead of maxing out on sub-1TB external hard drives, push past that barrier with OWC’s new 2.5″ 1TB hard drive. The best part is that it comes packing FireWire 800/400 which is a first for a drive of this size and capacity. If you want this miniature beast with FireWire you can expect to shell out a pretty hefty $359. Otherwise, if USB is plenty for your needs, the price falls to a bit more respectable and manageable $299. Is it worth it or are you comfortable waiting a bit longer in order to save some $$?
In a world full of slow, SATA1/2 hard drives, SATA3 hard drives look to bring a new meaning to the word fast. If speed is your number one concern, look no further than Seagate’s 3.5″, SATA3 hard drive. This particular drive’s claim to fame is that it is the claimed world’s first 3.5″ internal hard drive to ship with 6Gbps SATA3 specs meaning accessing your data will be leaps and bounds faster. If you were to question how fast and I were to give you an answer, it would be along the lines of an entire CD’s worth (~800MB) in one single second. That’s quite a bit of 1’s and 0’s to move around. Other honorable mentions include a 64MB cache and 7,200 RPM rotation speed. Just in case you were wondering, the drive is constructed using four individual platters which equals out to roughly 368Gb per square inch. But what good is all of this new found speed if you don’t have (A) the controller or (B) a motherboard that supports said controller/hard drive?
Thankfully ASUS and Gigabyte have your back on the motherboard front and the controller is also available for your consumption. Older systems can be retrofitted via an adapter to allow the faster SATA3 speeds to grace their aging relics and this new spec is backwards compatible with older 3Gbps and 1.5Gbps hardware meaning you don’t have to go “all the way in” just to get 6Gbps speeds. *sigh of relief* Those looking for the next gen in hard drive speeds can find the Barracuda XT 2TB 6Gbps for $299.
Hey you. The one that takes 3-400 pictures of every family event, sunrise, and other not so important occurrence on planet earth. I know you’re probably running out of hard drive space or already on your 2nd or 3rd. Instead of actually deleting the bad, redundant, or downright useless pictures, Seagate will soon feed your addiction. Already stealing the thunder from Toshiba’s 640GB 2.5″ hard drive announcement” Mobile techies and digital media lovers who need the top-of-the-line when it comes to mobile data storage and capacity will soon have a new friend in seagate. According to several British retailers of whom have already started listing pages for new drives, Seagate will be announcing and soon releasing the worlds’ first 2.5″ 1TB hard drives.
Now, before you get to excited you should know they’re 5400 RPM hard drives with a rather meager 8 MB cache meaning they aren’t going to be the quickest drives when burdened with the task of filling 1TB’s worth of space with countless 1’s and 0’s. Also unknown at this time is the drives height. Some may see this as unimportant. However, if you plan on using these drives in laptops, drive height is a big unanswered question. If it’s a 9.5mm or smaller design, laptop hard drive space can finally claim to have reached the herald 1TB mark. However, any bigger than 9.5mm and these new boundary busting drives will be relegated to external hard drive cases. Hey, I’m not complaining either way. Though a 1 TB single drive laptop sounds wicked doesn’t it?
Whether or not you’re a packrat or simply love old games and the memories they bring back, being able to use old game consoles or accessories for new projects brings a sort of accomplishment or pride in knowing you’re getting a second use out of an object that was destined for the trash heap. The gadget in question is that of old NES catridges by adding in a bit of new school internal storage.
If you are the type that needs several external hard drives and requires that they be small and portable, external drives constructed out of old NES catridges seems like a pretty reasonable idea. If you have the catridges laying around, that’s one less thing you have to spend money on. Not to mention, how insanely cool it will be to whip out classics such as Super Mario Brothers, Zelda, and other golden oldie favorites only to reveal their hidden innards give them a fresh lease on life.
Ranging in sizes that come in: 250 GB, 320 GB, 400 GB, 500 GB, and 750 GB, any and everyone should be able to find a size that suits them just perfectly.
If these little new age wonders have caught your fancy, stopping by 8BitMemory’s Etsy shop will lead you on the path to retro goodness. Such cool combinations of old and new will set you back more than your average external however with the entry level 250 GB option ringing in at $119.99.
- ** For a limited time, all orders of the 250 GB option will be upgraded to the 320 GB option for free! Hurry before the offer runs out!
Of course, if the cost is a little much for you or you simply want to get your own hands dirty, you can always take up this little venture on your own.