Toshiba Corp. — known among consumers for its televisions, laptops and DVD players — will begin selling portable hard drive products as well, becoming the latest company seeking to capitalize on people's expanding collections of digital data.
The Toshiba USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive will be available Monday in capacities ranging from 100 gigabytes to 200 gigabytes — the largest capacity yet in a portable, compact form factor.
The device, less than an inch thick and smaller than a 4-by-6-inch photo print, offers the kind of storage space found on many laptop computers. It's designed to be a backup repository for computer documents, digital photos, videos or photos, and is rugged enough to carry on trips.
Prices start at $130 for the 100 GB version and go to $230 for the 200 GB model.
Other leading hard drive makers Seagate Technology LLC and Western Digital Corp. already offer similar devices with top capacities of 160 GB.
Toshiba, the world's fifth-largest hard drive manufacturer, can claim the capacity crown for now, but analysts say it won't be long before other portable storage gadgets reach or surpass the 200 GB mark.
John Rydning, industry analyst at market researcher IDC, said he believes portable drives of 250 GB will be likely available by the end of the year.
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