200GB portable hard drive debuts

Being the capacity monger I am, it didn't take much for Toshiba Storage pique my interest beyond telling me it was announcing a 200GB external hard drive. The company was first to market last year with a two-platter, 2.5-inch 200GB hard drive for notebook computers. Now, it is taking that same drive and putting the drive into its custom-designed external enclosure to bring the first 200GB external portable hard drive to market. Currently, the industry max is 160GB.

The $US229 200GB Toshiba USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive drive joins Toshiba's line of external hard drives introduced in January at CES. Those drives--ranging in capacity from 100GB to 160GB--shipped at the end of March. If you're in a hurry for the additional capacity, you won't have to wait long: According to Toshiba's Maciek Brzeski, the 200GB drive will ship at retail and at online sellers (such as Buy.com and Amazon) by the end of this month.

As with the other drives in Toshiba's line, the 200GB drive is housed in a black aluminum chassis. The aluminum helps dissipate heat, as do the ventilation slots at the rear of the drive. The drive itself is mounted inside the chassis using Toshiba's patent-pending six-point suspension system that's designed to dampen an impact, says Brzeski.

The drive is rated to withstand a drop from a desk-height surface. However, it lacks the g-force sensors found in many notebook PCs. "We are currently looking into adding this feature into subsequent products," says Brzeski. "The trick with G-sensors is attuning it for use in external drive, as opposed to inside a notebook."

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