IBM slashes Microdrive prices

IBM on Monday cut the price of its smallest hard drives, called microdrives, by as much as 32 percent.

The microdrives fit into the CompactFlash slot in PDAs (personal digital assistants) and MP3 players, as well as notebook and desktop PCs through adapters, the company said in a statement. It is available with capacities as large as 1G byte and weighs in at slightly more than half an ounce (16 grams).

IBM has cut the microdrive's price per megabyte by at least 50 percent a year over the last two years, the company said.

The 340M-byte microdrive now costs US$199; the 512M-byte version is now $259, and the 1G-byte microdrive has been reduced to $379, the company said.

In July, Toshiba Corp. announced it would push the storage limit for small drives even further and launch its own PC Card hard drive in Japan. The 5G-byte PAMHD005 is priced at about 50,000 yen ($400) but is more than twice the size of the IBM microdrives and weighs 65 grams. Toshiba has not yet announced plans to distribute the drive in the U.S.

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