USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure with plenty of ports, little appeal
LAST FALL'S flooding in Thailand caused massive devastation and the loss of hundreds of lives. Much less importantly, it also caused many hard drive factories to shut down temporarily, leading to a huge drop in HDD production. Drive prices are coming back down, but for some capacities cost is still prohibitive—which makes upgrading a little less tempting, never mind purchasing a portable drive for backup.
Of course, you can do your part by recycling and repurposing an old drive. And you can make that drive mobile with an enclosure like the Akitio SK-3501 Super-S3, which comes with myriad connection options and lets you give your old drive the new lease on life it deserves.
The Akitio SK-3501 is a basic-looking hard drive enclosure made of aluminum that's a magnet for greasy fingerprints and good for scratching up whatever it's resting on if you forget to attach the rubber feet. Mounting a drive inside of it requires a lot of screwing—that is, four screws to seat the drive into the internal base, and then four screws to bind the internal base to the external frame. Despite its price, the package and presentation actually feels cheap.
The basic idea behind the PopDrive is a good one: a sleek, portable external enclosure that holds two 2.5-inch drives in RAID 1, to protect against the risk of data loss due to drive failure. Add in support for user notification emails, hotswap drive bays, and a relatively speedy 3Gb/s eSATA port, and it sounds like you’ve got yourself a winner. And you might, eventually.
Iomega is bringing a SSD-based portable storage solution to market in early November. The Iomega External USB 3.0 SSD Flash Drive is designed to be both secure and rugged. It features built-in 256-bit hardware encryption for data security and a metal chassis to guarantee toughness. According to Iomega, the drive can withstand falls from up to 10 feet. The SSD Flash drive will be available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities, priced at $229, $399, and $749, respectively. Iomega will be bundling its suite of backup and anti-virus software with the 1.8-inch portable SSD.
To Geeks the floppy disk is more than just an old storage medium indicative of days gone past, but instead is an icon of an era when you really needed to know your stuff to operate a PC. Motherboards required jumpers, IRQ settings were still important, and the world was a magical place where an entire lifetime of important documents finally fit on a plastic disk that could slip easily into your pocket. If like me and you harbor a bit of nostalgia for the vintage 3.5-inch floppies, you might want to pickup a box now before they disappear completely.
According to Sony, who is the only remaining manufacturer of 3.5-inch floppies, production will end in March 2011 effectively killing off the technology once and for all. Inexpensive CDs, DVDs, and USB thumb drives are cited as key reasons why, but I'm sure everyone knew it was only a matter of time. Global disk sales have dropped from 47 million a year in 2002 to just 12 million in 2009 and the drive itself hasn't been standard on most PCs since around 2003. I'm sure decades from now you'll still be able to find the odd person still booting off one, but don't count on seeing them at your local retailer past mid next year.
LaCie announced today a brand new storage option made available by USB 3.0’s massive throughput. John O’ Neill, VP of Marketing at Symwave boasted, “The end user experience of external storage is undergoing a very significant upgrade with the launch of USB 3.0 products. We are pleased to be leading the market transition with such a strong partner like LaCie.”
Lacie integrated Symwave’s dual SATA bridge controller, which touts burstable read speeds of 275MB/s, enough to perform real time streaming and editing of HD files. The 2Big USB 3.0 RAID drive will sport up to 4TB of storage and should be available early in 2010. The new product will be showcased at CES 2010 in January as well.
Buffalo’s 500GB DriveStation Combo 4 external drive is the fastest USB drive we’ve ever tested, and it even holds its own on an eSATA connection. That’s thanks to a propriety technology called TurboUSB that squeaks additional speeds out of the device.