Monday, September 1, 2008
Gadget Bag: Portable Hard Drives
External hard drives serve as entire image libraries in the palm of your hand
Last summer, Verbatim, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi, acquired SmartDisk’s entire lineup of popular, über-tiny storage products. In keeping with the SmartDisk tradition of great styling in a compact package, Verbatim recently announced a Mac- and PC-compatible 500 GB SmartDisk portable drive that’s a svelte 3.4x5.4x0.6 inches and weighs less than six ounces. It gets its power through either a USB 2.0 or FireWire connection and includes BounceBack Express from CMS Products, a backup and recovery software. It’s also ready to use with Mac OS X Leopard’s Time Machine feature, which can back up your data to the SmartDisk drive automatically. Estimated Street Price: $150 (500 GB).
One of the most popular storage viewers, the Epson P-5000 has been a favorite among photographers everywhere for years because it’s fully featured and ultrareliable, and is powered by a long-lasting rechargeable battery. The P-5000 can display over 16.7 million colors and provides Adobe RGB color space support. It features a category-leading four-inch color LCD, yet weighs less than one pound. The P-5000 is available with an 80 GB hard drive and has a pair of Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports (standard and mini) and interfaces that allow you to connect to most TVs to display images, slideshows and movies. Estimated Street Price: $695.
With the JOBO GIGA Vu extreme, you get much more than a portable hard drive—it’s practically a complete multimedia studio that fits neatly in your backpack. Built-in card slots allow you to download images while in the field, so you can reformat your memory cards and keep on shooting, and the large 3.7-inch color LCD permits image review (even RAW images) at any time. Available in capacities ranging from 80 to 160 GB, the GIGA Vu extreme is a true portable media player that’s compatible with MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video files, MP3 music files, and can output images directly to most TVs. Estimated Street Price: $599 (80 GB).
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