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Sony VGP-XL1B2Back in January we reported on the rumor that Sony was going to make its 200-disc media changer available separate from their Digital Living System PC.  Rumors do come true now and then, and this happens to be one of those times.  Whether the VGP-XL1B2 is a viable alternative to assembling terabytes of hard drive space for your ripped DVDs is arguable, but it’s certainly an interesting option.  The changer requires Windows Media Center Edition (with the Rollup 2 update), utilizes a firewire interface, can be daisy-chained with 4 other units (max 5 total), and supports the following disc formats:

• DVD R Double Layer/DVD±RW drive
• DVD R DL Write (4x max.)
• DVD-R Write (16x max.)
• DVD-RW Write (6x max.)
• DVD R Write (16x max.)
• DVD RW Write (8x max.)
• CD-R Write (40x max.)
• CD-RW Write (24x max.)

Available directly from Sony for $799.99

Read More | Sony via Digital Media Thoughts


Samsung 32GB SSD

As computers get faster, one item has always been the bottleneck in the quest for ultimate speed - the hard drive.  Great strides have been made to bring hard drive speeds up including denser platters, increased rotational speed, and faster interfaces.  Yet it still comes down to the inherent limitations of moving parts.  Solid State Disks (SSD), which are drives with no moving parts and are composed entirely of memory chips, are the equivalent of storage nirvana.

Samsung is a major player in the memory industry, and their NAND chips are in devices of all kinds.  They’ve now released their new 32GB SSD for the mobile market, with read speeds 3X faster and write speeds 1.5X faster than traditional drives.  Weighing only half of a comparably sized hard disk drive and consuming only 5% as much power, the drives will be a boon to laptop users everywhere.  There’s no word on pricing as of yet, but don’t expect them to be inexpensive.

Read More | Samsung (kr) via Akihabara News

BenQBenQ has become something of a powerhouse with regards to optical storage devices.  Selling products under their own name as well as providing OEM services for other companies, BenQ continues to churn out new models on a regular basis.  One of their latest is the BW1000 “Trio” Optical Writer that handles Blu-ray Discs, DVD, and CD formats.  One of the few optical drives to have a Serial ATA interface, the BW1000 can read and write all formats of Blu-ray Discs (BD-R and BD-RE at both 25GB and 50GB capacities) at 2x speed (approximately 72Mbps) and features SolidBurn and Write Right technologies.  SolidBurn learns and optimizes the writing characteristics of recordable media, while Write Right provides various methods for ensuring an optimally recorded disc such as Seamless Link, jitter calibration and Walking-OPC.

No word yet on availability or pricing, but historically the European market will be the first to get the new device.

Read More | BenQ

ATP Petito

ATP is announcing their new USB 2.0 flash drive, which they are calling ‘.’ The new drive is primarily designed for mobile professionals, but as we all know, these days everyone wants larger storage capacity in a smaller device. This is where Petito shines, featuring 30 MB per second transfer rate and storing up to 1 GB of data. The drive measures in at 1.65"x0.8” and weighs less than 8 grams, making it small enough to


carry on a keychain without it being awkward. Petito is available in gold and silver colors, with dark blue and titanium coming in April. Storage capacity ranges from 256 MB to 1 GB. ATP will exhibit the Petito at CeBIT 2006 in Germany.

Read More | Petito Product Page

Big news coming out of Sandisk Headquarters today with three new announcements:

Sandisk MSPD 4GB1) SanDisk Announces 4-Gigabyte Memory Stick Pro Duo Cards For Digital Photographers: - This is great news for both pro and pro-am photographers.  We can never have enough memory and this little gem is going to provide plenty of room for those RAW images.  As far as we can tell this card should also work on the Sony PSP.  We are getting ever-so-close to that PSP being really functional with hard drive sized capacities approaching rapidly.

The Ultra II cards are primarily targeted to advanced digital photographers with high-resolution digital cameras that require fast, large-capacity digital film cards to quickly shoot many high resolution images. Each SanDisk Ultra II card features a minimum write speed of 9 megabytes per second (MB/sec.) and a minimum read speed of 10MB/sec. These fast write speeds are designed to take advantage of advanced digital camera features such as rapid fire, continuous-shooting modes or to capture digital video clips.

Sandisk 2GB SD Card2) SanDisk Doubles Capacity of Innovative USB-Flash Memory Combo Card: Here’s one for you mobloggers and camera phone freaks.  Now you can get a tasty 2GB SD card for that Treo 650 of yours.  This is one killer SD card.  With the ability to fold in half and be inserted into any standard USB slot, we give this SD card mad props and high marks on the “gotta have it” scale.

The SanDisk Ultra II SD Plus line features write speeds of 9 megabytes (MB) per second and read speeds of 10MB/sec. The cards are targeted at enthusiast and prosumer-level digital photographers with 5 mega-pixel or higher resolution digital cameras that require significantly faster flash memory film cards. The faster cards allow photographers to shoot images in rapid sequence and minimize the lag time between shots.

Sandisk 8GB CF Card3) SanDisk Doubles Capacity Of Its SanDisk Extreme III Cards: Its Fastest Digital Film Cards For Professional Photographers - Rounding out the triple whammy is the killer announcement of them all.  Doubling the previous 4GB capacity, Sandisk has introduced one wicked fast 8GB CF card that will be making it’s way into every professional photographers gear bag that I know.  This one is a killer folks.

SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash and SD cards have minimum write and read speeds of 20 megabytes per second (MB/sec.) Memory Stick PRO Duo cards have minimum write and read speeds of 18 MB/sec. 2 The SanDisk Extreme III cards, which range in capacity between 1- and 8GB are among the world’s fastest working cards in many of today’s leading digital single lens reflex (SLR) cameras.

Not a bad day for Sandisk if we do say so ourselves.  Now off we go to find that fourth job so we can pay for all this new memory our digital habbits are requiring these days.

Read More | SanDisk Press Room