While there isn’t exactly a shortage of portable HDDs on the market, there some products are clearly better choices than others. Depending on if you want a simple backup solution or data storage on a hard drive that’s tougher than your organic chemistry exam, Hitachi has announced its new portable HDD line with something for everyone.

simpleTOUGHUntil now, Hitachi has only manufactured the hard drives inside your computers, but after acquiring Fabrik, Hitachi has announced a new line of external HDDs. The first, the SimpleTOUGH is a ruggedized HDD wrapped in rubber to protect it from up to three meter drops, water, ‚ or “" like the Hitachi rep we spoke with did “" if you drive your neighbor’s one ton truck over it. The unit still manages to remain sleek though, which is no small feat.

simpleDRIVE-miniThe other HDD Hitachi announced is the SimpleDRIVE Mini, a small “" as in size, not capacity “" HDD that’s designed with making backups simple and painless. The drives come in multiple colors come with free backup software for users, as well as 2 GB of online “cloud” storage. Both drives come in 250, 320, and 500 GB sizes for various prices.

simpleNETOn top of these two big announcements, Hitachi also dropped this little gem: the SimpleNET USB/NAS adapter turns any USB device into a networked drive. While it’s not quite capable of streaming HD video, the device can still move files about efficiently from any USB drive, no matter the formatting of the device, useful in our Windows/OS X mixed computing home and office. Hitachi is also openly attracting hackers by installing SHFS server utility which allows any intrepid hacker to edit the underlying Linux code on the device. It’s a simple device now, but who knows what it could become.

These are solid products for Hitachi’s entrance into the HDD market. Hitachi will be expanding their product line over the coming months, rebuilding it so that the entire product line will be new by 2010. While HDDs may not generate a ton of excitement, it’s good to see a big name with quality products enter the market.

About The Author

Michael Kaufmann, lover of all things science and gadget, is a contributing editor at Blast. He can be reached at [email protected].

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