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Digital Foci Picture Porter EliteDigital Foci today said they’d begun shipping their Picture Porter Elite portable digital photo albums. These devices come in 40GB and 80GB storage sizes and will be available in early August for $449 and $549 respectively.

The Picture Porter Elite sports a 3.6” LCD screen and has a built-in memory card reader which can read CF I/ II, MD , MMC , SD Card, Memory Stick, MS PRO, and MS Duo, and MS PRO Duo memory cards. Features of this device include the ability to save photos and video from memory cards directly to the Picture Porter Elite’s hard drive, connectivity to a television for a larger display experience, direct printing to any PictBridge compatible printer without a computer, music file playback, voice recording and video recording.

Read More | Digital Foci Picture Porter Elite Product Page

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Jeep USB Flash Drive Plus Ink PenEdge Tech Corp, a maker of computer memory related products, seems to have struck a deal with DaimlerChrysler to use the Jeep brand as today some new USB flash drives bearing the Jeep label was unveiled. The new Jeep USB Flash Drive comes in 256MB and 512MB of storage is priced at $29.95 and $44.95 respectively after rebate, while the Jeep USB Flash Drive Plus Ink Pen is priced, after rebate, at $29.95 for 128MB and $49.95 for 512MB.

The Jeep USB Flash Drive, which sports a rugged design in keeping with the brand it is named after, is about the size of one’s thumb and pretty typical of USB flash drives. The Jeep USB Flash Drive Plus Ink Pen is more interesting in that it has a dual function design as an executive style ink pen, with the pen’s barrel being unscrewed to reveal the drive. The drive portion of the pen plugs directly into a computer’s USB port and is recognized as an additional storage device on the user’s desktop.

Read More | Edge Tech Press Release

SanDisk 4GB SDHC CardSanDisk today rolled out what they are calling the industry’s highest capacity SD card. The new 4GB SD High Capacity (SDHC) card is priced at $199.99 and should be available this month.

The 4GB SDHC card, which comes bundled with a compatible USB reader, is based off of the SDHC specification. This specification, developed by the SD Association, is a completely new design that is required for cards and hosts to support 4GB to 32GB capacities and adhere to the SD 2.00 specification. SDHC cards require an SDHC-compatible reader to be read properly. The SanDisk 4GB SDHC card, which has a rating with a minimum data transfer rate of 2MB/sec, reportedly can store more than 2,000 high-resolution pictures, more than 1,000 digital songs or up to 8 hours of MPEG-4 video.

It should be noted that not all devices support the new SDHC standard. To ensure compatibility, one needs to look for the SDHC logo on the product or its packaging.

Read More | SanDisk SDHC Product Page

100GB Portable iQBioDriveiQBio, a subsidiary of Artemis Solutions Group, yesterday announced a 100GB portable hard drive which makes use of fingerprint encryption and security software to protect its contents. The new 100GB Portable iQBioDrive is priced at $299.95 and, if you care about this thing, is designed and assembled here in the good old U.S. of A.

The iQBioDrive is reportedly secured by 128bit AES encryption and makes use of the company’s BioCert fingerprint technology. According to iQBio, the drive is “partitioned into three ‘mapped drives’ on Windows 2000 (SP3) or Windows XP systems. The first is a partition that is seen by the system as a read only drive and contains the biometric encryption software. The second partition is set at 100MB or so…and is a public partition where files may be stored and used without biometric authentication…The last partition is the secure drive that can only be accessed through the use of biometric authentication or a 256 character override password.”

Read More | 100GB Portable iQBioDrive Product Page

Apricorn Aegis MiniApricorn, a developer of portable storage products, has a new “ultra portable” hard drive family announced today. The first product of this line up is the Aegis Mini, a pocket sized, 1.8” external drive with USB 2.0 or FireWire connectivity options.

The Aegis Mini, available in 30GB and 60GB capacities, is bus powered and has an integrated cable which wraps around the drive when not in use. The drive protects its data with a 16-point omni directional shock mounting system and comes with a software suite which includes backup software, synchronizing software, encryption software and hard drive health monitor software.

Read More | Apricorn Product Page

If you own a Lexar JumpDrive FireFly or 1GB Secure II, you’ll want to take careful note of this story. Lexar, in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has issued a voluntary recall of around 66,000 of these drives because of a potential burn hazard. No injuries have thus far been reported of the drives. Consumers with the impacted models as described this recall notice Web page are advised to stop using the drives and contact Lexar to receive a free replacement.

Read More | Lexar/USCPSC Product Recall Page

Sony Micro Vault TinySo if you’re looking for a tiny, cool looking USB flash drive on which to store data, Sony may have a little something fun for you to check out. The Sony Micro Vault Tiny, billed by Sony as their smallest USB flash drive, is quite tiny indeed, measuring 1.2” x 5” x 6.1”.

The Sony Micro Vault Tiny comes in four configurations: 256MB orange ($29.99), 512MB purple ($44.99), 1GB blue ($64.99) and 2GB green ($109.99). All the drives, which are compatible with Windows and Mac OS, support USB 2.0 and 1.1 ports.

The Micro Vault Tiny drives also come with “Virtual Expander”, which reportedly lets you store three times as much data.

Read More | Sony Product Page via News.com


BenQ BW1000

BenQ in Europe dropped some details last week about their upcoming Blu-ray Disc optical writer. The new BW1000 is expected to price at around € 799,00 including VAT (around $1,023 American) and will ship in August.

The BenQ BW1000 will incorporate three types of lasers to support writing to Blu-ray Disc as well as a variety of DVD and CD formats. Three additional technologies highlighted by BenQ are designed to offer extra protection against vibrations and irregularities in the physical media as well as “determining and optimizing the writing settings for recordable media to ensure maximum playability and lifespan”.

Read More | BenQ Product Page via Engadget


Vonage V-PhoneVonage has an interesting looking gadget out today in the form of a USB keychain drive. The new Vonage V-Phone is priced at $39.99 and looks to be available now.

The Vonage V-Phone comes with what Vonage feels is everything one needs to make and receive calls over a high speed Internet connection. Its primary features include coming pre-loaded with Vonage Talk software, having a detachable stereo earpiece microphone, offering 250MB of usable portable memory storage and offering a new Vonage phone number.

The Vonage V-Phone is plugged into any existing USB port on a PC. After also plugging in the earpiece microphone into the side of V-Phone, one is pretty much ready to use the service. When the drive is removed, all of the information is still on it and not the former host computer.

Read More | Vonage Product Page via Gizmodo


Plextor PX-B900ABefore there was Benq, before there was Lite-On, there was Texel.  Ummm, who?  Texel America was the name Plextor went by before they changed in back in the mid 90’s.  They’ve been manufacturing and selling optical drives since 1990, and I even remember owning one of their first 1x CD-ROM drives.  Yes, I realize that dates me somewhat.  Anyway, Plextor is introducing their first Blu-ray drive, the PX-B900A.  The PX-B900A is an internal ATAPI drive that features dual-layer burning and supports writing and re-writing at 2x speeds.  A large 8MB buffer ensures a constant flow of data, and support for a wide range of formats offers up great versatility.

The PX-B900A not only uses the latest Blu-ray technology, but is also a highly versatile dual-layer DVD drive that combines multiple formats – DVD+/-R/RW and RAM - into one.  It can accept both 12cm and 8cm discs (in the horizontal position) and has a large 8MB buffer to ensure there is no data interruption. Write speeds: 2x BD-R/BD-RE, 8x DVD+R/-R/+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 4x DVD+R/-R DL, 5x DVD-RAM, 24x CD-R and 16x CD-RW.

One thing that has changed over the years is the manufacturer of Plextor’s drives.  Once upon a time, Plextor ruled the roost so to speak and their drives were arguably second to none, and priced to match.  As time has progressed, Plextor seems slower off the line in regards to innovation, and they’ve developed a habit of simply rebadging another manufacturer’s drive as their own.  Rebadging is a common practice in the industry, but it does detract from the main reason to own a Plextor drive - because it was a Plextor and you knew you were getting a cutting edge piece of hardware with few peers.  For what it’s worth, rumor has it that the PX-B900A is a rebadged Panasonic.

The PX-B900A will be availble in the September/October 2006 time frame, for an as of yet undisclosed amount.

Read More | Plextor via CD Freaks


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