New York City—The Internet's good for sharing files, but not everyone's wired into the network. Say you need to swap some data into your car, or out of your digital camera.
A new solution on display at PC Expo (now known as the unpronounceable TechXNY), was Toshiba's portable hard disk drive. The 1.8-inch drive is credit card-size, so it plugs into your laptop's PCMCIA slot, instantly delivering 5GB of storage space. Called the 5GB Type II PC Card HDD (hard disk drive), its data capacity is equal to nearly 3,500 floppies or seven CDs, and its footprint is 5 × 54 × 85.6 mm, weighing under 2 oz.
Toshiba is positioning the storage device as an ideal "bridge" for transferring large amounts of data between laptops, PCs, digital cameras (still and video), MP3 players, and automotive telematics, says Amy Lian, director of hard disk drives. In fact, the company developed its 1.8-inch model when automotive suppliers complained they would love to put a hard drive in a car, but the standard 2.5-inch size was too large for the dash. "Appliances that 'want' to get more useful tend to use hard drives," Lian says. "But historically, there's been no portable hard drive."
"Engineers see this and say 'Oh, I could really use that to fix a problem'," Lian says. "It's being used by customers we've never heard of, not to mention the startups." Future applications may include: storage of an entire semester of textbooks; fleet tracking for construction vehicles; a camera that snakes through pipelines; and wearable computing. And at an MSRP of $499, Toshiba calls it the most cost-effective storage per area. The device will start shipping in Q3.
For more information about hard disk drives from Toshiba: Enter 533