What was the first thing SanDisk said to you about the design when they initially approached you and your team? Robert Curtis: SanDisk is … Read more
Updated at 9:40 a.m. PST with additional information about SLC-based solid-state drives.
Some solid-state drives are more equal than others--or, to put it another way, command higher prices than rival drives, despite being seemingly quite similar.
SanDisk and Toshiba offer a good lesson. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, SanDisk said it would start shipping 240GB SSDs in "mid 2009," priced at only $499. (Next to a comparable hard-disk drive, that may be a lot of money, but for a solid-state drive, it's dirt cheap.)
At the Toshiba booth, however, the story was very different. A Toshiba representative said his company's comparable 256GB SSDs are priced at $800. And this discrepancy is coming from two companies that get their flash chips from the same source: a joint-manufacturing operation in Japan.
Below are the prices Toshiba representatives were stating on the show floor versus prices that SanDisk announced.
Toshiba/SanDisk solid-state drive pricing:Toshiba 512GB: $1,600, SanDisk N/A Toshiba 256GB: $800, SanDisk 240GB: $499 Toshiba 128GB: $400, SanDisk 120GB: $249 Toshiba 64GB: $175, SanDisk 60GB: $149
Throw Intel into the mix, and it gets more confusing. "Introductory" pricing for Intel 160GB versions of its X25-M and X18-M Serial ATA (SATA) solid-state drive is $945 for less than 1,000 units. … Read more
You probably know that when you delete a file, you're not really removing the information from your storage device. Instead, you're designating the space taken up by the file as available for storing new data, should it be needed.
A properly motivated person can recover the deleted information. In fact, data recovery tools such as the free Recuva exist for this very purpose. To keep prying eyes from perusing your deleted data, you need to write over the digital bits that comprise the file. That's where secure-erase utilities come in.
(By the way, the process of recovering … Read more
Simple installation, user guidance, and operation make this freeware virtual encrypted disk tool a snap for anyone to use. Cryptdisk.4h's dialog-size interface doesn't complicate the process. Five buttons and a small list make up an interface even novice users will quickly master.
Some users like the simplicity of an encrypted folder on their hard drive. This tool makes it easy to install such a folder and mount it as a virtual drive. There are dozens of such programs, but Cryptdisk.4h makes sure to give new users a very detailed step-by-step guide to set up the drives. … Read more
Visually-oriented users will appreciate the easy-to-understand graphics this freeware utility displays to let you know what's taking up space on your hard drive.
Disk Space Finder launches a well-designed, easy-to-use interface with two panes. The first, smaller pane lists drives and their folders in a standard tree format. The second, larger pane displays a beveled-edge pie chart that illustrates how the space in a selected folder is divided among its contents.
This utility performed very well in our tests--the scan time was short and the resulting pie chart was quickly displayed. In our tests, a folder containing 20GB of … Read more
Overly complicated operation and poorly written documentation combine to make this disk encryption tool an easy one to skip. DiskEncryptor's basic interface lacks flow, functions are logically placed, and navigation is awkward. The program's manual appears poorly translated into English. Novice users will be more confused than helped by the file.
Operating DiskEncryptor depends on various setup factors. Logical disks, partitions, and virtual disks are eligible for 256-bit AES encryption. Each setup offers individual pitfalls, but all share functions that open tabs of poorly explained options. In fairness, experienced users will have less trouble, but similar apps are … Read more
It takes just an instant to lock, hide or disallow autorun on any or all of your drives with this simple, effective tool. Easy Disk Drive Safeguard's simple, check box heavy interface cleanly displays all program options on one screen. This app is so easy to use, only the most novice users will need the short Help manual.
All 26 possible drives are listed, each with check boxes to hide, lock, or disallow autorun. Click a box and press apply or Ctrl-A and you've tightened security of the selected drive. A pair of additional options round out the … Read more
The beauty of this freeware secure drive space application lies in its simplicity. Steganos Safe One's very basic interface and short wizard make it a snap to quickly create two secure drive spaces of up to 1GB each. Novice users may need the short Help manual, but most will pick up this app with no assistance save from the tooltips.
Operation is quick and to the point: install the app and follow the prompts to create your drive space. The text might lead some users to believe the program encrypts an entire drive, but it is just a space … Read more
SanDisk's SlotMusic strategy puzzled me at first. I didn't understand why anybody would pay almost the same price as a CD for an easily misplaced microSD card with lower-quality audio. The release of the $19.99 SlotMusic player, which is basically an MP3 player capable of playing these cards, changed my opinion a little bit. But I suggested that the real strength would come in curated cards containing, for example, a selection of songs from the Billboard charts. Given that a regular album cost $14.99 on this format, I figured that a curated card for the same … Read more
It's simple enough for the novice to use, but there's nothing simplistic about this system utility's hard-disk password protection.
The program's clean, easy-to-use interface holds basic command buttons across the top of the window and displays your PC's disk partitions. A wizard and extensive Help file ensure that you're on the right path to protection. The first easy step is selecting the kind of protection--boot or partition--and choosing the disk to protect. In addition to a 30-day trial period, the program has a restriction that prevents you from creating your own password. But no … Read more