SimpleTech unveils terabyte external hard drive

The design firm that crafted the seminal Ferrari car has turned its attention to hard drives, and the first of its efforts is an elegantly curved external drive just unveiled by c The rainbow of colour options is tied to drive capacity, topped by the first external terabyte hard drive (in charcoal grey).

That 1TB drive packs Hitachi's five-platter, 3.5-inch Deskstar 7K1000 into the newly redesigned SimpleTech enclosure. The company expects the price to be in the upper US$400s when the drive ships in mid-May.

Other entries in the new SimpleDrive Desktop line come in an array of capacities and colours; pricing starts at US$99 for a 160GB drive. Each colour designates a different capacity: fire red (160GB), pearl white (250GB), sapphire (320GB), onyx (500GB) and charcoal gray (750GB and 1TB). The drives will be available in USB 2.0-only and USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 varieties.

Sleek, colorful look

SimpleTech, which was recently acquired by Web services company Fabrik, drew on the skills of Italian industrial design house Pininfarina to design its Ferrari line of portable hard drives last year. The line was so successful, says Mike Coronado, Fabrik CEO and co-founder, that SimpleTech shot out of nowhere to claim the number two spot in the market. SimpleTech then returned to Pininfarina when it came time to redesign its previously unremarkable desktop external hard drives.

The redesigned SimpleDrive Desktop has an elegantly curved design and a large button on the top surface, which the company dubs its One-Click backup. The drive ships with One-Click Backup and Record software, based on ArcSoft's similarly named software. The 1TB capacity is unique among external hard drives.

Services bundled

All of the drives ship with 2GB of storage on Fabrik's Myfabrik.com Web storage, sharing, and content management service. That two gig capacity is up from the 1GB that's given on free Myfabrik.com accounts.

"Fabrik is a software and services company," Coronado says. "Syncing, backing up, managing your content on the Web--that's where we're going with this. And the Fabrik service will be part of an overall platform that the devices will fit into. It may be a flash drive, an external hard drive, or a network storage device--we'll be able to handle all of those "nodes" in the digital fabric."

The idea is to move away from the concept of backup, and to the concept of the making your content available to yourself, and to others. "In the fall," Coronado adds, "we expect to have an integrated service that will sync content on the myfabrik.com site with other devices, such as a hard drive or a flash drive. You'll be able to go from anywhere to anywhere."