|Fantom Drives has introduced two new hard drives that connect to your Mac via USB. The two drives are 4.3 GB and 8.4 GB respectively and are aimed at novice users looking to expand their storage options. We'll l et Fantom tell you about them:
Available in both 4.3GB and 8.4GB configurations (formatted capacity approximately 4GB and 8GB respectively), these 3.5" form-factor hard disk drives are enclosed in a translucent blue and white flavor of the standard Fantom Drives enclosure. These drives are positioned to provide supplementary data storage and are ideal for the storage of applications and documents. Because of the performance and driver specifications of USB, these drives are not ideally suited for high-bandwidth operations (such as video editing or PhotoShop "scratch-disks") and can not be used as boot-drives. However, thanks in part to the high "seek" ability of the drive mechanism, these drives excel in delivering small to medium sized files or applications. Both drives are also supported by the leading drive optimization and data recovery software (such as Apple's Disk First Aid) and can be reformatted using the Macintosh Finder or Windows Explorer.
Geared initially towards owners of Apple's iMac, these hard disk drives were designed specifically for use by "novice" computer users. Two system extensions and a two-step installation procedure are all that are needed to get up and running. Additionally, these drives can be formatted as HFS or HFS+ volumes for MacOS, or as an MS-DOS volume for Windows or cross-platform use. Since the drives can be "hot-plugged", the Fantom Drives USB Hard Disk Drives provide a convenient and cost effective method of sharing large amounts of information between computers.
The drives are priced at US$299 for the 4.3 GB model and US$349 for the 8.4 GB unit. The units are shipping now.
The Mac Observer Spin: USB hard drives are ideal for consumers who do NOT want or need to hassle with trying to install either a SCSI or IDE hard drive. While that operation is not difficult for those who know how to do it, for new users like many iMac buyers, installing a hard drive can be a daunting and confusing task.
We were happy to see Fantom own up to the fact that USB is not the format for high-speed transfers, but the company seems to have made a good decision by optimizing the drives for throughput of small files. These are the types of files most likely to be transferred by their target market.