We can't say we've ever felt the pressing need to save time and download energy by buying our external storage and digital movies at the same time, but Seagate's latest FreeAgent Go offers just that simplicity. The 500GB USB 2.0 portable hard-drive comes preloaded with twenty different feature-films, although you don't actually get them included in the purchase price; instead, Seagate - and Paramount Pictures, who they've partnered with for this - allow you to pick which titles to unlock, charging you between $9.99 and $14.99 for each one.
Western Digital have updated their high-performance VelociRaptor hard-drive range with another, even larger SATA 6 Gb/s model. The WD VelociRaptor 600GB 6Gb/s spins at 10,000rpm and has a whopping 32MB cache, and the company reckon it's up to 15-percent faster than the previous generation of drive. That's despite not using any more power than its predecessor required.
Data Robotics' first Drobo model surprised a fair few people; the company billed their external storage array as an "intelligent data robot", making RAID-style redundancy if not glamorous then at least appealing. When we reviewed the first-gen model all the way back on October 2008, we felt a few qualms at its relatively high price tag but had little doubt over the security of our data. Now, with their range much enlarged, we've one of Data Robotics newest 'bots on the testbench, the Drobo S. Adding an extra drive bay to the original model, plus a few less obvious tweaks, is the Drobo S the droid you're looking for?
Hot on the heels of Toshiba's double-platter 750GB 2.5-inch hard-drive comes Western Digital's retort, the WD Scorpio Blue 750GB. Intended for notebooks, the 3Gb/s SATA drive spins at 5,400rpm and has 8MB of cache; Western Digital are also pushing their WhisperDrive technology that, they claim, reduces both noise and power consumption.
Toshiba have announced [pdf link] their latest notebook hard-drives, and as you'd expect the company is concentrating on packing more storage into the same amount of space. Two new sizes have made their debut: a standard 9.5mm high 2.5-inch drive, the MK7559GSXP, with 750GB capacity, and the MKxx59GSM range of 12.5mm high 2.5-inch drives, with 750GB or 1.5TB of storage.
So far Microsoft have only been offering their 250GB Xbox 360 hard-drive as a standalone accessory in Japan; everywhere else it's been included as part of a bundle with the console itself. That looks like it could be changing, however; one 360 gamer spotted the standalone drive being advertised on Microsoft's own Xbox Dashboard.
Western Digital have outed a new portable hard-drive, the My Passport Studio, and like the My Book Studio before it they've slapped on a super-frugal E Ink panel to show drive status details. Available in 320GB, 500GB and 640GB capacities, the My Passport Studio has both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connections and comes ready formatted for use with a Mac.
SilverStone's HDDBOOST seemed too good to be true: a way to combine an SSD with your existing hard-drive to ramp up performance by up to 70-percent without sacrificing capacity or having to reinstall your OS and software. Over the years we've grown suspicious of such claims, but according to HardwareCanucks the HDDBOOST really can deliver some of the speed increase it promises.
LaCie have unveiled a new rugged external hard-drive, and it's apparently the first on the market with a Power eSATA port. The LaCie Rugged eSATA not only supports transfer speeds of up to 90MB/s, but - if used with a powered USB-eSATA combo connection - can hook up with a single cable.