9to5Toys: Portable USB/SD storage options under $1/GB

From 9to5Toys.com:

A quick roundup of storage options from 9to5Toys at Amazon this weekend:

SDHC Cards:
16GB
Amazon Class 4: $14.38; Transcend Micro Class 4 w/adapter: $12.98 (pictured)
32GB Sandisk Class 6: $29.95  Transcend Class 10: $32.95

USB Sticks:
8GB Kingston:  $6.95
16GB Kingston: $13.99, Sandisk $14.72 Transcend: $13.99
32GB Sandisk: $28.99
64GB Lexar: $61.10

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Here’s a rare prototype translucent Apple hard drive circa 1985

Apple and its cofounder Steve Jobs certainly helped design and popularize storage devices throughout computing history. For example, the Mac mainstreamed Sony’s 3.5-inch floppy drive in the 1980s, but Apple was working on its own storage devices even before the Mac debuted. One of our buddies discovered this eBay listing advertising for what appears to be a prototype of a previously unknown NISHA hard drive adorned with the colorful Apple logo. It comes in a translucent case, and it could easily be the first Apple product we have seen like this, even though it never shipped. It is neither a Hard Disk 20 drive Apple introduced on Sept. 17, 1985 specifically for use with the Macintosh 512K nor is it a Hard Disk 20SC.

The latter product was the first SCSI drive Apple manufactured and deployed on the Macintosh Plus in 1986, effectively obsolescing the Hard Disk 20 unit. It is a safe bet that this unit represents an early prototype of one of Apple’s hard drives, but it could also be a new hard drive design that never saw the light of day. The seller could not tell either, as the drive did not power up. Eagle-eyed readers are aware that Apple of the past had been designing its own storage devices and the aforementioned Hard Disk 20 serves as an illustrious example of the company’s closed approach to hard drives.

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OWC puts together Mac Mini Stack Max: USB 3.0, 4TB 3.5 inch drive, eSATA and more

We love this add-on to the Mac Mini that turns it into more of a pro-device (and a cube!).  The business up front is a DVD-R drive (not sure about BluRay) and an SDXC card reader that complements the one on the back of the mini. On the rear, you get a high power USB source for quick-charging an iPad as well as a few USB 3.0 ports that require separate drivers.  Also on the back is an eSATA port for fast external peripheral support as well as two Firewire 800 ports. Inside, there is room for up to a 4TB 3.5 inch hard drive which you can order with the Mini Stack Max or you can bring your own.

This is interesting because it is moving the Mini more toward a pro-like setup.

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OWC has not put a price on the Mac Mini Stack Max but expects them to be available in March. Read more

More ThunderBolt at CES 2012: Western Digital shows impressive speeds, Hitachi shows pro setups and Seagate shows off sleds

I had some time to demonstrate some of the upcoming Thunderbolt accessories from external drive makers at CES earlier today. We briefly discussed a few others from OCZ, LaCie, Belkin and Elgato earlier in the week. First up is the Western Digital MyBook Thunderbolt Duo:

These are going to compare nicely to the Promise RAID setup that has similar speeds, but it does not have a price or release date yet.  The vibe seemed to be like Q2 with perhaps an announcement at Macworld.

Next up is the Hitachi G-Drive series of Thunderbolt Drives, and these drives are 8TBs…

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Thunderbolt 13-inch MacBook Pro drops below $1000 ($987.99)

From 9to5toys.com:

Update: Drops to $987.99

MacConnection drops the price on the base MacBook Pro 13 inch from $1199 to $999 after a $50 rebate with free shipping.  Even without the rebate, it is the lowest price we could find on a Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Pro anywhere.  This model includes Intel 3000 Graphics, LED-backlit display, 802.11n wireless, full-size backlit keyboard, Multi-Touch trackpad, FaceTime camera, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, Thunderbolt port, and up to 7 hours of battery life.

Note that this is last month’s  model with a marginally .1GHz slower processor and smaller 320GB HDD which were upgraded slightly a few weeks ago.

You can also pick this up for $929 factory refurbished or $1199 newat the Apple Store. Read more

Hitachi G-Speed series drives and enclosures deliver professional-level reliability and performance

This is a sponsored post

Until recently, I merely thought of Hitachi as the company that builds the OEM hard drives that are found in some Apple and other high end PCs.  It turns out that Hitachi makes very high quality enclosures for those same hard drives that companies like Apple demand for their machines.

Hitachi’s drives that range from the G-Drive portable hard drives (which I reviewed earlier this year, above) to the newer G-Speed for high end A/V professionals.  Take for instance the G-Speed FC XL, shown below:

The SAN Ready G-SPEED FC XL offers industry leading Fibre Channel performance and easily supports multi-stream ProRes, uncompressed HD and 2K Film video editing work flows. A 16-drive G-SPEED FC XL connected to a dual-channel 4 Gbit Fibre Channel host bus adapter will pump out over 550 MB/second to support the most demanding post production environments.  Upgrade mini SAS model,  back panel below, and expect up to 800MB per second.   That’s uncompressed 60 frames 1080P with room to spare and virtually unlimited space for drives with its stacking functionality.

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