Until recently, Toshiba has been content to remain somewhat behind the scenes, populating millions upon millions of consumer electronics devices with its tiny hard drives. But it seems the company wants a piece of the branded market: Toshiba announced today its first line of personal storage products, the blandly named Toshiba USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive.
Each unit houses a 5,400rpm, 2.5-inch Toshiba hard drive, wrapped in a shock-mount system--a great feature for portable drives. The design looks fairly sleek, with a black aluminum casing and a glowy blue light that indicates power. It's USB powered--again, a great feature for portable drives, though you'll need two available USB ports if you have only older USB 1.1 ports. It's tiny enough to stash, too: 3.5 inches by 5.6 inches--slightly larger than a standard index card--and less than an inch thick. For backup, Toshiba bundles NTI Shadow.
The drive comes in three capacities--100GB, 120GB, and 160GB--and starts at $140. Toshiba says they should be on retail shelves in spring 2007.