Maxtor Turns a Triple Play

Monday Apr 10th 2006 by Lauren Simonds
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The external drive giant ventures into new territory, ups the capacity ante on a popular product and offers a sneak peek of what's to come.

Maxtor places the emphasis squarely on mobility and security in the latest addition to its OneTouch line of external drives, the OneTouch III Mini Edition. The drive also represents the company's first foray into small, 2.5-inch form-factor drives — a development no doubt influenced by Seagate's recent purchase of Maxtor.


OneTouch III Mini Edition

Industry speculation aside, Maxtor designed the Mini Edition for an increasingly mobile workforce. A study conducted by IDC in 2005 estimates that by the year 2009, the worldwide number of mobile workers will increase by 200 million people.

"Our latest innovation lets people easily take their digital content with them so they can access it whenever and wherever they need it, said Stacey Lund, Maxtor's vice-president of marketing. "It also makes it easy for people to back up and synchronize business data and files while away from home or office. It safely and simply unleashes digital content from the desktop."

Sizing It Up
Available in both 60GB and 100GB versions, the OneTouch Mini Edition measures 5.24- by 3.54- by 0.79-inches and weighs in at 7.2 ounces. The Mini's aesthetic design features a Titanium metallic paint finish, black rubberized side grips for non-slip traction and extra protection against vibration. The drive connects via a USB 2.0 port and sports the same OneTouch backup button of its larger cousins.

Mac owner alert: The Maxtor software doesn't support the Macintosh OS at this time — so while you wouldn't get any of the software features, you could still use the Mini as a portable USB storage drive.

In what Maxtor claims is an industry first, the Mini Edition drive comes with a variety of software to help protect and manage your data, including the following:

  • Synch: Automatically synchronize files between two or more computers that use the same operating system (OS)
  • System Rollback: Restores a virus- or spyware-infected computer's OS and applications to a healthier point in time without losing data
  • Software Encryption: Protects content in the event the drive is lost or stolen
  • Maxtor DriveLock: Embedded firmware that's designed to deny access to the data without a password

OneTouch III Mini Edition

The 60GB Mini Edition drive sells for $149.95 and the 100GB version sells for $199.95. Both versions will be available at major U.S. retailers and at Maxtor's online store starting April 17.

Coming in Q2
Maxtor's revamping the three-in-one Shared Storage Plus network drive it announced back in September, 2005. Due on retail shelves sometime before the end of June, the Maxtor Shared Storage II still provides centralized storage, automated backup and media streaming to multiple connected devices on a home or small office network. The re-designed drive will include a Gigabit Ethernet interface, RAID capability (designed to improve both speed and data protection) and capacities up to one terabyte. Pricing has yet to be determined.

Sneak Peek: Project Fusion
Organize, personalize and socialize. Those are the three main functions Maxtor uses to describe what its latest product — code-named Project Fusion — will allow customers to do. Actually, Fusion is more than a single product. It's a portfolio of products and online services scheduled for release sometime before the end of June.

Project Fusion screenshot
Project Fusion is designed to help you organize, find and share your documents, images and videos.
(Click for larger image)
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Project Fusion is the result of a partnership between Maxtor and Fabrik, a San Mateo, Calif.-based software company.  The initial product is a network appliance that consists of a 500GB drive and a CPU plus Fabrik's software.

Essentially, it's a networked-attached storage device outfitted with software that lets you organize and share files, photos and video over the Internet. You can also e-mail a link to people you want to access the files. They can then view them using a browser.

Fusion is designed to make collecting and distributing data, documents, photos, music or videos much easier. Maxtor's Lund says the increasing amount of data we accumulate — in all its various forms — makes it hard to find anything. "And if you can't find it, you can't use it," she says. "Project Fusion lets you organize, personalize and socialize. You can share any content with any audience anywhere, anytime."

Maxtor plans to offer the as-yet-unnamed product in different capacities, with prices ranging from $199 to $799 for the 500GB version.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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