The night before CES actually starts, media company Pepcom holds an annual event called “Digital Experience.” This event showcases some of the newest technology coming to market, some of it announced at the event or shortly before it. I toured Digital Experience — this year with an Area 51 alien invasion theme — and present herein some of the great finds.
Storage giant Sandisk announced yesterday two new USB drives, an SSD deal with ASUS for the new ASUS Slate, and a high-end CompactFlash card for professional photographers. It also unveiled a new form factor of SSD meant for embedded devices, the iSSD.
The two new USB Flash drives are the Ultra and the Cruzer Edge. The Ultra is the speed demon of Sandisk’s lineup, clocking in at 15 MB/s transfers over its USB 2.0 interface. It will be available within Q1 in 8 GB, 16 GB, and 32 GB flavors. The largest’s MSRP is $109, so the rest are even cheaper! One of the greatest traits of the Ultra, though, is its five year warranty.
The Cruzer Edge is meant for the less needful user, topping out at 16 GB for $80 with a two year warranty. It’s available to retailers now and will within the month be available on Sandisk’s web site.
Next, Sandisk showed off its new deal with ASUS for its P4 modular SSD. ASUS will include the P4 in its Slate EP121 tablet PC coming this year. The P4 is available in standard modular formats, or also in the new iSSD form factor. The iSSD is approximately the same size as a quarter, if not slightly smaller. Sandisk packed 64 GB into that tiny chip! The P4 can also be found in the HP Slate.
Last, Sandisk announced its latest CompactFlash card, the Extreme Pro. It’s a 128 GB card with 100 MB/s write speeds. It’s the fastest on the market aimed at photographers who rely on speedy media for continuous exposures or high definition video recording. It’s available for purchase now on Sandisk’s web site for $1499, but won’t be shipping until later in Q1.
I peek at Toshiba’s semiconductor unit to see what Toshiba is showed off for storage this year. In December, the company showed a new set of SD and microSD cards capable of 95 MB/s read speeds and 80 MB/s write speeds, specifically its UHS-1 class drives. UHS-1 is equivalent to a 10 on the old SD class system. The 32 GB SD card model will retail for $200 when it comes out this year. There’s also a 16 GB microSD card soon to be available which can do 35 MB/s write speeds.
Toshiba also showed a 512 GB SSD with up to 180 MB/s write speeds, as well as many units from its existing lineup of consumer and OEM-oriented SSD devices.
PNY is breaking into the HDMI cable market. It showed two models of cable available soon in various lengths. One is standard HDMI, while the other is for mobile: mini HDMI. The former is available this week, while the latter is available later in the first quarter. Both will be available at competitive pricing.
Another neat product PNY is introducing is an SD adapter for Apple iOS devices. This device plugs into the connector on an iPhone, iPod, or iPad and enables the device to use an SD card plugged into the adapter as local storage. One model of the adapter even has a battery in it that can supply a little extra juice to the mobile device. Both models will be available starting at $34.99 in the next few weeks.
PNY also showed off a new Pro Elite line of SD cards compliant with the new UHS-1 speed standard. These cards are aimed at high-end professionals with SD cameras or even pro-sumers with a need for speed.
We couldn’t help but ask about the PNY GeForce GTX 580 and GT 430 on the table. The GTX 580 is among the fastest graphics cards on the market, and the GT 430 is among the most affordable. What does the future hold? Our rep couldn’t wouldn’t give us exact details, but she did advise us to “expect something new at the end of the month.”