Macworld SF 2002 Product Watch: 1GB On A Keychain and Other Small Wonders!

Don Engstrom

Small storage options abound at macworld... 1-11-02
As we prowled around the show floor, we were amazed by how small storage devices have become. A few USB 2.0 devices are beginning to surface, but Macworld seemed to be FireWire's coming out party. You couldn't complete one isle without encountering a FireWire CD-RW drive, scanner or hard drive. In the 50GB and under range, FireWire hard drives are amazingly small. We even came across a FireWire storage device that measures 1.75" x 2.35" x 0.85" and weighs just 2 ounces! If you want to build your own drive, several outfits offer enclosures. Below, we provide you with photos of the more attractive and exciting offerings. Click on any of the images for a larger version.

This Cobra drive from EZQuest packs 48GB into a modern looking enclosure that would compliment any Mac nicely. The M2 from QPS isn't exactly new, but the stackable design (showcased above) makes it worth pointing out. The M2 has garnered high praise from the Mac press. The M2 is currently available in 6, 10 and 20GB configurations with 30GB on the horizon.
FireWire Depot is one of several outfits offering FireWire and combination FireWire/USB enclosures. Slap in a hard drive and you are good to go... Two offerings from WiebeTech. The most exciting is the blue "FireWire Keychain" pictured above. The FireWire Keychain uses flash memory making it both compact and rugged. Pricing is not set at this point, but will be announced at the end of this month so keep an eye on the WiebeTech web site. Capacities will range from 64MB to 1GB! The red device , is WiebeTech's new MicroGB drive which sports both FireWire and USB 2.0 connections. The latter is backwards with USB 1.1 of course. The MicroGB is available with 20, 30 and 48GB drives or without a drive. Both devices are enclosed in anodized aluminum and use the Oxford 911 bridge chip.
The SmartDisk drives are, without a doubt, the sexiest hard drives we saw at the expo. Pictured next to the green pen, the FireFly is ultra small (2.5" x 4" x .5") and comes in FireWire and USB 2.0 flavors. The bad news is that the drives are 5GB only. The FireLite offers greater capacity 20, 30 or 40GB and is only slightly larger, 3.25" x 5" x .75." The FireLite is FireWire only. Both the FireFly and FireLite can run off bus power.