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08:45 PM

Toshiba Unveils Half-Terabyte External Hard Drive

The storage capacity is sufficient for up to 142,000 photos, 131,000 music files, and 222 hours of DVD-quality video or 58 hours of high-definition video.

Toshiba on Tuesday introduced a half-terabyte external hard disk drive for consumers looking for an easy-to-use portable backup device for digital music libraries, home videos, and other files.

The USB 2.0 HDD comes with a glossy black finish and frost-white graphics and offers "ultra-quiet operation," Toshiba said. The storage capacity is sufficient for up to 142,000 photos, 131,000 music files, and 222 hours of DVD-quality video or 58 hours of high-definition video.

"That amount of capacity packaged in an effortless, do-it-yourself solution enables consumers to easily archive digital photo and video memories, as well as create portable entertainment libraries of music, movies, and more," Manuel Camarena, product manager for consumer storage at Toshiba's Storage Device Division, said in a statement.

The latest drive joins Toshiba's other stylish consumer models, the electric blue 400-GB model, the carbon gray 320-GB version and the hot-rod red 250-GB model. All the drives are about the size of a postcard and are powered via the USB port. The products weigh six ounces and have an internal shock sensor to protect the drives' mechanisms and anti-slip footpads to anchor the drive in place.

The latest drive works with Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is available through Toshiba's Web site and major retailers. The new product has a manufacturer suggested retail price of $180.

Toshiba isn't alone in providing high-capacity external HDDs for consumers. Western Digital offers the My Passport Studio product line that offer capacities from 320 GB to 500 GB. The drives also are USB-bus powered and feature shock-resistant enclosures.

Other portable hard-drive vendors include Cavalry, Iomega, LaCie, Maxtor, and Seagate.

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