SmartDisk has unveiled a new line of FireWire hard drives at this week’s Macworld Expo San Francisco and at the Consumer Electronics Show that’s underway in Las Vegas.
FireLite drives are available in capacities of 20 GB, 30 GB and 40 GB, and have performance rates that easily allow users to access and use data directly on FireLite without first copying it to a personal computer.
“The FireLite series is the second new line of lightweight portable hard drives we’ve introduced in the past six months,” said Rod H. King, SmartDisk’s senior VP of sales and marketing, in announcing the product.
Decked out in a silver-colored magnesium casing, FireLite drives measure 3.25 inches wide by 5 inches deep and .75 inches high and weigh just over six ounces. Compatible with Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, FireLite drives are FireWire bus-powered, which means they are powered by the computer itself and don’t require their own AC adapter. And they can be “daisy-chained” together.
Each drive ships with software for Mac users, including SmartDisk Tools 2.5 (for drive formatting and partitioning, password control, write protection and encryption), SmartDisk Hot Plug Events (for automating tasks upon initial drive plug-in) and a full copy of Connectix CopyAgent (for data backup, recovery and synchronization). However, these apps aren’t Carbonized for Mac OS X.
The FireLite drives cost US$279.95 for the 20 GB model, $349.95 for the 30 GB model, and $429.95 for the 40 GB model. All models will be available at the end of February.
SmartDisk also introduced FireFly for USB, a portable 5 GB Universal Serial Bus 2.0 hard drive that’s about the size of a deck of playing cards (2.5 by 4 by .5 inches). Like the FireLite drives, it has a magnesium casing, Weighing less than four ounces, it supports both USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 host systems, which means that users in transition between the two versions can use a single FireFly on any USB machine. However, you’ll need a third party USB 2.0 card of some sort to use any USB 2.0 device with a Mac.
The FireFly was first introduced with FireWire connectivity at last July’s Macworld New York. The USB version costs $299.95 for the 5 GB capacity model, which is due next month. SmartDisk has plans for additional higher capacity models in the near future.