Solid state memory and one inch hard disk drives fight it out with a flurry of new products from SanDisk, Sony, Apacer, TwinMOS, Seagate and Hitachi. It's a war out there.
Ubiquitous flash giant SanDisk gets us rolling with two offerings, an enlarged capacity 1GB miniSD memory card and a rugged, waterproof USB Flash Drive. The 1GB miniSD is straightforward enough, doubling the capacity of the company’s previous highest offering (512MB). Demand for larger miniSD and TransFlash cards is no doubt growing after the number of mp3 compatible handsets and smartphones introduced at 3GSM last week. Expect capacities to continue flying up at a rate of knots throughout the year. The SanDisk 1GB miniSD card will be available in Q2 at the very reasonable RRP of £50 including VAT.
A little more unique is SanDisk’s waterproof USB Drive. Certainly, we’ve seen ruggedised USB drives before, but waterproof is something quite different. Quite why you would be taking your electronic equipment underwater was not made clear but if you have such desires I would suggest drying it off thoroughly before sticking its moistened end into your desktop/notebook USB port. That aside, the product will be available in 64MB, 128MB, 256MB, 512MB and 1GB capacities in May and at 55 x 19 x 79mm and just 11.5g it should appeal to the aquatically inclined among you.
As surely as journalists chase free drinks, Sony follows SanDisk as the sometimes collaborator upgrades its Memory Stick PRO Duo cards to 1GB and 2GB capacities. Transfer rates now reach the dizzy heights of 80MB/SEC (claimed) and can operate in temperatures anywhere between -25C and 85C, which is handy if you plan to visit Scotland or The Sun.
It is hard to even know where to start with Sony and its various flash memory formats, but safe to say the new cards should sit nicely atop its Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo range. Just don’t add any more formats Sony… please!