IBM Unveils A/V-Savvy Mobile Hard Drives

IBM yesterday announced it will deliver a family of new mobile hard drives beginning next month. The three new models offer enhanced audio-visual (A/V) capability by partially disengaging traditional error-correction features that regulate the transfer of text-based files in most hard drives.

According to Lee Johnson, marketing manager for IBM, automatically suspending any error-correction protocol while transferring video files "allows for smoother, steadier images."

Designed for laptop computers, the Travelstar 32GH offers a 32GB capacity for $599. The Travelstar 30GT delivers a 30GB capacity for $575. And with capacity offerings of 20GB, 10GB, and 5GB, the Travelstar 20GN has a suggested street price of $420, $290, and $195, respectively.

Increased performance over previous generations of hard drives ranges from 15 percent for the 32GH, to 7 percent for the 5GB Travelstar 20GN, according to Johnson.

Each new Travelstar hard drive incorporates Enhanced Adaptive Battery Life Extender 3.0, an IBM product that identifies hard drive usage and regulates battery power to the lowest level necessary to maintain operation.

Both the Travelstar 30GT and 20GN will be available in May through the channel and from OEMs including Compaq, Dell, Gateway, as well as IBM. The Travelstar 32GH will ship in limited quantity in June, moving into volume production by August.

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