It’s small, it’s light, and it has a leather jacket that makes it look better-dressed than most people I know. It’s the world’s smallest multi-gig USB HDD storage device, and it’s poised to take the country by storm.
While others I know have been bragging about little sticks of memory that plug into USB ports and give you about the same storage as a ZIP disk before breaking your wallet, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based company, Anypak Peripheral Devices, Inc. has quietly been preparing itself to lead the portable storage market. Anypak’s new USB 2.0 2.5″ Hard Disk Drive Type storage device is backward-compatible with older USB ports and holds 20, 30 or up to 40 Gigabytes of storage. It contains a mini hard drive and a USB interface. All of this in a tiny package that is more narrow than a pack of cigarettes, and just about as tall. It weighs 4.5 ounces and is about a half-inch thin. It fits in a shirt pocket and has a nice chain that can optionally clip to your pocket. I play the “who has the best toys” game with business people I meet every day, and this one puts me in the lead!
My Sony VAIO laptop has a 2 gig hard drive. That’s about 4 CD’s worth of storage…enough to make you wish for a hard drive upgrade or another laptop. It’s still a wonderful machine, but it’s frustrating to know that wherever I go, I have to drag along my pack of 20 or so CD’s. I can’t leave much installed…the drive needs enough swap space left to compensate for the system’s low 32 Meg of RAM. That CD-dragging time is a thing of the past! With Anypak’s tiny USB drive, the usable lifecycle of my laptop has increased significantly. In fact, in testing a variety of uses and situations with the drive, I’ve even installed business software packages across it! Programs that were too big to reside on the laptop without the Anypak drive could be installed with the drive in place, and leave me plenty of room for other stuff! It’s a pleasure!
The Anypak USB 2.0 HDD storage comes with everything you need. It gets power from the USB port of your PC or laptop. It’s plug and play, and doesn’t require drivers for most newer operating systems, although using it with Windows 98 requires installation of drivers that are included on a mini-cd (what else!?!?) or can be downloaded from the www.anypakusa.com Web Site. It also comes with all of the cables you’ll ever need – a regular USB cable for most systems, and a special USB and PS/2 port cable that helped my little laptop compensate for inadequate power available from its USB port alone.
One initial concern I had with the Anypak drive was that if it fell into the wrong hands, someone would be able to acquire my personal and business files from the drive. I also wanted to be able to lend it to an associate and be able to restrict access to my…um…personal entertainment files. The good news is that Anypak has security features available that make other company’s encryption techniques look like they were created by children playing spy games. We’re talking about world-class, high-end protection for your critical data. It’s all done on-the-fly, without affecting the applications you use with your data.
This tiny drive is hot-swappable. You can plug it in with the computer running, turn it on, and immediately have the computer recognize the drive as part of the system. In Win98, you have to click an icon in the tray before removing the drive, but that can be done without powering down too. This comes in handy when you’re grabbing large files from one system and sharing them with another. It also comes in handy during LAN parties, where waiting for files can seem to take forever.
So how good is the performance of the drive? I’ve edited 70 Meg audio files on it. I’ve played back 400 Meg video files. I’ve even back up and restored servers with it. The USB 2.0 mode is quite fast, and the standard USB mode is no slouch either.
This drive works great with Window 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, Linux and MAC 8.6 or higher. The cost depends on whether you want 20, 30 or 40 Gigs of storage space. The 30 Gig model I tested is currently available for $259.95 plus shipping from the www.anypakusa.com Web Site. Having interviewed them, the people behind the product are very customer-service oriented, and want you to be happy with your purchase. I highly recommend it…it’s a terrific bridge between my home, work and laptop systems. Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.anypakusa.com for more information.