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Sony Intros Portable CD-RW/DVD-ROM Drives

Slim drive supports USB 2.0 By Dave Nagel
Sony today launched two new portable CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drives. The new drives support PCMCIA and USB 2.0 interfaces on Mac and Windows and come with a software suite for each. Both versions are expected to be available in the United States next month.

The drives offer 20x recording speeds and include Sony's "Power-Burn" technology, which is designed to prevent buffer underrun and writing errors that might be caused by shocks to the drive. It has 8x rewriting capabilities and 24x read capabilities. For DVD-ROMs, it can read at 8x.Its sustained data transfer rates are 3.6 MB per second for reads and 3 MB per second for writes. Maximum burst speeds are 16.7 MB per second for the PCMCIA version and 60 MB per second for the USB 2.0 version. The drives have an 8 MB buffer and an average 160 ms average random access time.

The software suite for Macintosh includes B's Recorder Gold for backing up CDs and creating data, audio and video CDs in various formats; Dantz Retrospect Express for creating unattended backups; ArcSoft PhotoStudio 2000 for image editing; and ArcSoft VideoImpression for editing videos and image files.

The drives are expected to sell for $329. The USB 2.0 version will also be backward compatible with USB 1.1, though write speeds will be limited by USB 1.1's throughput limitations. For more information, visit

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