Seagate offers flood of new hard drives

Also, new products from Memina, Sampo and Lexar.

In its major product launch of the year, Seagate last week unveiled 10 new hard drive products, including three new Seagate-branded storage devices for end users.

The company plans to ship a 500G-byte external device that uses a 3.5-inch hard drive and has a FireWire 800 interface option; a 2.5-inch portable external hard drive that offers up to 120G bytes of capacity and offers USB and FireWire support; and a CompactFlash Photo Hard Drive that offers either 4G or 8G bytes of capacity in a 1-inch Compact Flash II form.

The 2.5-inch drive and CompactFlash card are expected in the third quarter, and the 3.5-inch external drive is expected to ship in the fourth quarter. More details on Seagate's other announcements are available here .

Memina's new 2G-byte Pocket Rocket USB Flash drive lets users run applications or play music and video files directly off the device instead of having to transfer them to a PC first. The drive costs $199.99 from online resellers and at the Memina Web site.

Memina, a spin-off of Samsung Electronics, says the Pocket Rocket offers 18M byte/sec reading speed and 15M byte/sec writing speeds, enabling the ability to run applications, music or video off the drive directly. The device also features a gold tip and attached, rotating cap that protects it from dust, vibration or moisture damage. For an extra $5, users can buy the Rocket Dock-It desktop cradle.

At last week's InfoComm 2005 show, Sampo Professional showed off a series of LCD TVs and plasma displays that can be given an IP address, letting users remotely control the displays through a current wired or wireless network infrastructure.

A display with an IP address gives companies the chance to control functions such as power on/off, picture-in-picture, picture-over-picture and screen and sound adjustments from anywhere in the world (through a Web browser interface). Sampo said that emerging video applications, such as video on demand, emergency and security alerts, distance learning, and video conferencing, benefit from displays that have an IP address.

The displays with this ability from Sampo include the 26-inch (LME-26X8, $1,500); a 32-inch (LME-32X8, $2,000); 42-inch (LME-42X8, $4,000) LCD models; and a 50-inch plasma display (PME-50X7, $4,500). They are available through resellers or at www.sampoamericas.com.

Lexar Media is offering the LDP-200, a digital music player that doesn't have any internal storage - it relies on the Secure Digital card reader and assumes that if users want more songs, they'll just buy another SD card.

The device costs $50 without a card (bundles with 256M-, 512M- and 1G-byte cards cost $90, $120 and $170, respectively) and doubles as an SD card reader for a computer, Lexar says. The music player supports MP3 and Windows Media Audio file formats, and supports Microsoft's digital rights management technology. Go to the Lexar Web site for more details.

Shaw can be reached at kshaw@nww.com.

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