Drive expert Plextor has dropped three “new” products on us just before CeBIT, although quite what it is doing releasing an external floppy disk drive in 2005 is completely beyond me.
So, looking at devices with technology from this millennium first, we have the PX-PH04U and PX-PH08U, two impenetrably named but highly straightforward USB 2.0, 5,200rpm external hard drives (they look identical but it is the PH08U above). The cool thing about them is that they require no external power supply which could come in particularly handy if you need to back up laptop data on the move. The quick spin speed and quoted data transfer rate of 480Mbps over USB 2.0 should ensure quick operation, but for those out there stuck with USB 1.1 you'll be limited to a far more modest 12Mbps.
The fronts of the PH04U (40GB) and PX-PH08U (80GB) are minimalist but functional with an LED to remind you whether you are connected to USB 1.1 or 2.0, a write protection switch for the nervous and a connection for an AC adaptor should you wish to conserve your laptop battery or if you have a poorly powered USB slot.
For those looking for a step up in capacity there is the PX-EH25L, a 250GB network attached storage (NAS) device. As well as providing instant shared storage across a network, it comes with a built in print server and an automated backup scheduler. Other noteworthy features include a high security setting which allows network administrators to limit access to certain folders and it can also be configured as a dedicated FTP server.
Last and definitely least is the PX-FD1U, or the antiquated external floppy disk drive to give it its more common name. God knows what companies are still doing making these things in the 21st Century but if you people keep buying them...
And for anyone even remotely interested in the FD1U slowly repeat after me: M.e.m.o.r.y. K.e.y - M.e.m.o.r.y. K.e.y.
All Plextor products come with two year warranties (and an impressive five day turn around process for faulty devices) while this motley crew will ship towards the end of April. The PX-PH08U, PX-PH04U, PX-EH25L and evil PX-FD1U will set you back £113, £78, £226 and £23 respectively. All prices exclude VAT.