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SmartDisk announces FireLite XPress portable drive  
Tuesday, May 16, 2006 | by Mike Sturk

SmartDisk this week has announced the FireLite XPress, a portable USB 2.0 hard drive that incorporates an always-on screen which displays a table of contents for the drive, available capacity and other information.

The use of a cholesteric liquid crystal display enables the screen to be active even when the unit isn't powered up or connected to a computer. This technology, from Kent Displays, enables the screen to remain on indefinitely without power, says Crystal Revak, Corporate Communications Director at SmartDisk. In addition, the included software can adjust what information is shown on the display, as well as other parameters such as font size. Set to a 6pt font size, says Revak, the 160 x 240 pixel monochrome screen will show 12 lines of text.

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What's Inside: The SmartDisk FireLite XPress portable hard drive (Photo courtesy SmartDisk)

The FireLite XPress will ship in 60GB and 120GB capacities; the 9.5mm-size drives used are 5400 RPM models and employ a SATA connection internally, though linking to a computer is via the unit's mini-B USB 2.0 port. Both capacities will operate bus-powered, and an optional 5VDC power adapter will also be available.

The screen-based models are an addition to the company's portable hard drive offerings and do not replace existing FireLites. A FireWire version of the FireLite XPress may follow at a later date, says Revak, though the company is not announcing a FireWire version at this time.

The FireLite XPress will be available in June 2006 at manufacturer's suggested list prices of US$199.99 for the 60GB model and $299.99 for the 120GB model in the U.S.

Revision History
 Added new details about the drive from SmartDisk's Crystal Revak (May 17, 2006)

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