Consumers interested in portable storage gained a new option Tuesday, when Sony Electronics unveiled a 2-Gbyte solution that takes up the space of a business card.
The $249.99 Micro Vault Pro will be available later this month, Sony said. The 2-inch x 2.75-inch form factor will hold a 1-inch hard disk drive that can connect to PCs via a USB interface, the company said.
Together with the Hitachi MicroDrive, Cornice Storage Element, Toshibas upcoming 0.8-inch hard disk drive, USB storage keys, and other small-form-factor devices, users have a wealth of options to choose from when selecting PC data backup. Sony hopes to give its solution a bit of an edge, however, by including backup software that can automatically copy a PCs files onto the device for storage.
"As working outside the office at least part of the time is becoming more common, were seeing the use of USB storage continue to rise," said Michael Lucas, director of consumer and convergent media for Sony Electronics Media and Applications Solutions Division, in a statement. "Micro Vault PRO provides the mobile worker the higher capacity needed for even the most media-rich data, and the synchronization software offers the convenience of never having to remember to transfer your work to the device and back to your PC."
Sonys other Micro Vault products are all based around flash memory housed in a USB key. The Micro Vault PRO will support the Windows Me, 2000 Pro, XP Pro and XP Home operating systems.
In a separate announcement, Sony said it would also launch a VAIO Professional initiative geared at the reseller channel, targeted initially at the company A-Series and S-Series notebook PCs.
These new notebooks will be designed to sit on the shelf far longer than consumer models, from six months to a year and beyond. Sony will offer optional three-year warranties. Each notebook will be offered with the option for several software images, from a bare-bones offering to the addition of third-party software packages, Sony said. All of them, however, will be standardized on the Windows XP Professional operating system, Sony said.