Six Gigs to Go

By Lauren Simonds | Posted April 20, 2006

The briefcase used to be the standard means of conveyance when taking work home or across the country. With the advent of USB Flash drives, you can fit today's digital workload in the palm of your hand and still have plenty of room for your car keys and a latte. But digital files keep getting bigger and there's always the need for more storage space. That brings us to Western Digital's new Passport Pocket Drive — an external, matchbox-sized hard drive that can store up to 6GB of data.

The drive measures a mere one-third of an inch thick — svelte enough for Western Digital to claim that you can plug two of the drives into the two tightly spaced USB ports on most notebooks. The drive features a recessed USB connector that's designed to flip up and rotate to accommodate close quarters. Complete measurements work out to 0.37 x 2.41 x 1.80-inches at a weight of 1.6 ounces.

The USB 2.0 Pocket Drive is Western Digital's first foray into the one-inch drive market. Yes, there's a one-inch hard drive inside — about the size of a half dollar, according to the company. The drive doesn't require a power cord, as it's bus powered and designed to draw electricity directly from the notebook.

According to Sherri Besser, WD's senior director of marketing, the Passport Pocket drive will have mass-market appeal. "It's the perfect solution for mobile professionals who work with large PowerPoint presentations or images, for college students, or for anyone who needs to transfer files from one computer to another — especially from a PC to a Mac," she said. "You can even place your entire desktop and settings on the drive."


WD PassPort Pocket Drive
Little Big Drive: Western Digital's tiny PassPort Pocket Drive holds 6GB of data.

WD estimates that the drive can hold five two-hour feature-length movies, 1,200 digital photos or 1,500 MP3 tunes. Of course, your results will vary depending on the settings, compression and software you use.

The Passport Pocket Drive also includes a colorful rubberized sleeve that, according to the company, protects it and makes it easier to find in your pocket or purse. You can buy the drive at retail outlets like Staples or online at WD's online store, and it sells for $129. The price for a flash drive with a 4GB capacity can run between $130 and $350.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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