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Desktop Storage Solutions

(April 2007) posted on Wed Apr 18, 2007

A sourcelist of external desktop hard drives.

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By Clare Baker

The plug-and-play d2 Quadra can stand upright, be stacked horizontally, or be rack mounted, and is able to be daisy-chained via FireWire. The system also offers an advanced cooling system, power-management features, and a shortcut button that enables the launch of applications with the push of a button. Bundled with backup and recovery software including EMC Retrospect Express, the hard drive is compatible with Windows 2000/XP and Mac OS 10.2.8 (10.3 for eSATA). Price: $290.

Also available from LaCie is the Brick Desktop Hard Drive. The Brick features a drive speed of 7200 RPM as well as an 8-MB cache. The storage solution is available in five capacities and three colors: 160 GB (white), 250 GB (red), 300 GB (blue), 400 GB (white), and 500 GB (red). The 160- and 250-GB drives have fanless cooling systems, while the others are equipped with "smart fans." The stackable, plug-and-play Brick is bundled with software including LaCie ‘1-Click’ Backup software. Compatible with Windows 98SE/2000/ME/XP and Mac OS 9.1 and OS X 10.2.1. Price: $110 to $210.

From Maxtor Solutions, acquired by Seagate Technology in May 2006, comes the Maxtor OneTouch Ease line of external hard drives, which includes the Maxtor OneTouch III FireWire 800/FireWire 400/USB 2.0. This specific model is available in 300-, 500-, and 750-GB capacities and features a drive speed of 7200 RPM. A plug-and-play drive, it features 16 MB of cache and is bundled with EMC Dantz Retrospect Express HD backup software. The Maxtor DriveLock security feature provides password protection of files. Requires Windows 2000/XP or Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher.

FireWire 400/USB 2.0 and USB 2.0 only models are also available in the family of Maxtor OneTouch III hard drives.

The MicroNet Platinum XL FireWire 800 hard drive is equipped with two FireWire 800 ports and one FireWire 400 port and is available in capacities of 400, 500, 600, and 800 GB. Featuring a drive speed of 7200 RPM, the hard drive boasts bus transfer rates of 100 MBps with FireWire 800 connectivity and 50 MBps with FireWire 400 connectivity. Compatible with Windows ME/2000/XP and Mac OS X 10.1.3 or greater. Price: $220 to $380.