Photos: SanDisk unveils 12GB microSD, 32GB Sansa View

SanDisk unveiled a whole heap of new products at CES, including new lines of SDHC cards, 12GB microSD cards and an impressive 32GB version of the Sansa View MP3 and video player

SanDisk's standing room-only press conference today played host to a few nuggets of flash-related news. Firstly, SanDisk founder and CEO Eli Harari gave us a little slideshow about his company's current strengths and successes in the memory market, then went on at length to show how far the firm has come over the last few years.

Anyway, the most exciting news for us was that our predictions were almost spot-on: SanDisk has significantly upped the capacity of its microSD cards. The new model comes with a mind-blowing 12GB of flash memory. That's around 50 billion transistors packed inside a card the size of a fingernail. Okay, so it's not the 16GB we hoped for, but it's still an incredible figure and now stands as the highest capacity microSD card in the world.

On the show floor, however, one of SanDisk's reps told us that 16GB disks are "just around the corner". No price or availability date was disclosed for the 12GB card or, obviously, any 16GB cards. Click through for more SanDisk pics and news.

Also added to the 'Disk's repertoire was the Cruzer Titanium Plus -- a 4GB USB flash drive that automatically uploads encrypted copies of every file added to the drive to a secure server. Interestingly, the service is provided by BeInSync, but the servers used are provided by Amazon Web Services, so there should be some peace of mind that your home-made porn and hate speeches are in safe hands.

"This is true 'set it and forget it' data protection. Many users have told us they worry about losing their data, and now SanDisk is reducing that anxiety through an innovative new form of online backup," claimed good ol' Hezy Rotman, vice president and general manager of SanDisk's USB Division. "We believe Cruzer Titanium Plus will encourage people to use flash drives for storing important data, not just transferring files from one computer to another."

The drive comes with six months of service right out of the box. After that, you'll be charged $29.99 (£15) on a per-year basis for further service. Not bad for a drive that costs just $59.99 (£30). Expect a US launch in March. There was no mention of a UK availability date, but expect it to rip us off compared to Yank Land when one is announced.

Also launched was a new line of high-capacity SD cards, known as Video HD cards. The idea is pretty simple: instead of just marketing cards with a capacity displayed in gigabytes, Video HD cards will also tell consumers how many minutes of digital video they'll hold.

"The SanDisk Video HD line takes the mystery out of selecting the proper memory for these new camcorders," said Susan Park, a senior product marketing manager at SanDisk. "The bright red packaging and the bold labelling of recording times give consumers an easy way to select memory cards for video."

Video HD cards will be available in SD and Memory Stick Duo flavours. America will get these first in March but a European release was confirmed to be expected shortly after. Prices will start at $80 (£40) for 4GB SD cards, and $139 (£70) for 8GB. Prices for Memory Stick Duo versions will be around the same price.

If you like SanDisk's Sansa Clip MP3 player, you'll be pleased to hear it's had it's insides upgraded to contain a full 4GB of flash memory. Not only that, but the Sansa View 's been upgraded to a stonking 32GB, putting it in line with the recently maxed-out 32GB Creative Zen.

The 4GB Sansa Clip will be out in February with an RRP of $80 (£40). The 32GB Sansa View will also hit shelves in Feb, but with a price tag of $350 (£175).

We -- not to mention most people sitting in the conference -- couldn't help laugh when CEO Eli Harari showed some new promotional images to highlight the company's 'Wake Up Your Phone' initiative, an effort to get more people to use memory cards in their mobile phones. Our lols, he has them. -Nate Lanxon

 

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