Synology upgrades its slim four-bay NAS server

More than a year ago, Synology released the DiskStation DS409Slim, which was an excellent network storage solution for a space-conscious environment. The server was one of a few, if not the only, four-bay NAS servers that host 2.5-inch laptop hard drives, instead of the regular 3.5-inch desktop hard drives, allowing it to be much more compact.

Today, the company announced the upgrade of the same server, called DS411Slim, with a faster processor and 256MB of RAM (as opposed to just 128MB of the DS409Slim).

Like all NAS servers from Synology, the DS411Slim runs DiskStation Manager (DSM) operation system (… Read more

Transcend SSDs get radical speed and capacity boosts

Transcend's solid-state drives got a radical upgrade Tuesday, as the company announced a new breed of SSDs that offer speeds of up to 260MBps and come in capacities of up to 512GB, which the company claims is the highest in the industry.

According to Transcend, to boost overall performance, the 2.5-inch SATA SSDs feature an upgraded controller chip that supports a maximum sequential transfer speed of 260MBps read and 200 MBps write. The company claims that this will significantly improve the system bootup and application launch speed and at the same time will offer lag-free responsiveness. The new … Read more

Hitachi unveils new 7mm laptop hard drives

Standard laptop hard drives (2.5-inch) come in three tiers based on their thickness: 9mm, 12.5mm, and 7mm.

The first one, such as the Seagate Momentus XT (500GB), is the most popular and used in most notebooks and other 2.5-inch-based storage applications. The 12.5mm standard, such as the 1TB WD Corpio Blue, is a newer standard that offers higher capacities but can only fit in later models of laptop computers. The third, 7mm tier is used for ultraportable applications, such as Netbooks or tablet PCs. For a long time, this ultracompact tier of internal hard drive was … Read more

Seagate hybrid hard drive raises perfomance bar

You've probably heard of solid-state drives, such as the Intel X25, but haven't yet purchased one because you can't afford it. Or maybe you're turned off by the limited amount of storage these drives offer.

There's now an alternative that allows you to have high performance and more storage space, without leaving a hole in your wallet. It is the all new hybrid Momentus XT hard drive that Seagate unveiled Monday.

The Momentus XT combines the traditional platter-based storage with solid-state memory, incorporating 4GB of high-speed single-level-cell flash memory and a built-in algorithm, called Active … Read more

Get an external hard-drive enclosure for $5.95

If you've ever upgraded the hard drive in your laptop (or thought about doing so), you've probably wondered what to do with the old drive. After all, it's still perfectly good storage.

Answer: Turn it into an external, USB hard drive. All you need is an enclosure, a sturdy casing for the drive that provides an IDE interface and USB connection.

Today only, deal-a-day site Froobi has a SimpleTech 2.5-inch USB external hard drive enclosure for free (plus $5.95 for shipping).

The enclosure is very compact, measuring roughly 0.75 inch thick by 3 inches … Read more

Toshiba to ship 640GB laptop and portable drives

Awhile ago Western Digital released its top-capacity laptop hard drive, the Scorpio Blue, which is the first 2.5-inch hard drive to offer 1TB of storage. On Tuesday, Toshiba announced its own largest laptop hard drive to date, the MKxx65GSX, which caps at 640GB.

Though smaller in capacity, the new Toshiba hard drive has two advantages over the WD Scorpio Blue. First, it spins at 5400rpm as opposed to the 5200rpm of the WD, meaning it potentially has a faster throughput speed.

The new Toshiba drive also comes in the regular 9.5mm thickness and therefore will work in all applications where SATA 2.5-inch hard drives currently are used. The Scorpio Blue is 12.5mm thick and therefore only fits in laptops with a larger hard drive bay.

The new hard drive is built based on Toshiba's new 320GB-per-platter design which, according to the company, reduces power consumption and heat dissipation by more than 80 percent compared with 3.5-inch hard drives of the same capacity. This helps save energy and prolong the life span of the drive.… Read more

Iomega eGo external hard drives get colorful

If you're impressed by the previous generation of Iomega's eGo external hard drive, you'll probably like this one better.

Iomega announced Monday the worldwide availability of its new generation of eGo portable hard drives that feature a new look, up to 500GB of storage, and multiple colors including ruby red, sparkling silver, midnight blue, and black.

All of the models have USB 2.0 and are bus-powered, meaning you only need to carry a single cable that works as both the data and power cord. The included cable is a Y-shape USB cable that lets you use … Read more

Hitachi makes new eco-friendly hard drive

Hitachi on Wednesday joined the crowd of green-storage vendors with its fourth generation of the CinemaStar hard-drive family.

The new drive features Hitachi's EcoTrac Classification. This means it's halogen-free and has very low power consumption. The new CinemaStar features a read/write power specification of 1.4W--a reduction of 22 percent compared to previous models.

Other that that, this is a 2.5-inch (laptop) SATA hard drive that has the spinning speed of 5,400 rpm, which is popular though slower than the 7,200 rpm of some higher-end drives.

According to Hitachi, its new CinemaStar hard drive … Read more

Super Talent to release budget solid-state drives

Two weeks after announcing two new high-speed solid-state drives (SSD), Super Talent Technology on Tuesday announced it will release the MasterDrive LX as a budget solid-state drive later this week.

The MasterDrive LX comes in 64GB and 128GB versions and will cost about $179 and $300, respectively. Both drives are SATA-II and use NAND flash technology. They will be compatible with computers that support the ever-popular 2.5-inch SATA hard drive.

The low prices do come with a shortcoming: the throughput speed. The new MasterDrive LX drives are significantly slower than other SSDs; it's even slower than some regular … Read more

Toshiba announces faster 1.8-inch hard drive

Two weeks after releasing the largest capacity 1.8-inch hard drive, Toshiba announced on Thursday its MKxx29GSG series of this small form factor storage device that's finally catching up with the regular 2.5-inch laptop hard drives in terms of speed and storage space.

For a long time, 1.8-inch hard drives' performance was limited to 4,200rpm and the old-school ATA interface, making them significantly slower than the currently popular 2.5-inch hard drives that spin at 5,400rpm (or even faster at 7,200rpm) and use the SATA standard. That discrimination has ended now with Toshiba's … Read more