By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
As digital camera vendors offer more megapixel bang for the buck, peripheral manufacturers are keeping pace by expanding flash-card capacity and write performance, as well as addressing the storage, transportation and transferral of hefty image files from platform to platform.
Peripheral manufacturers came to PMA to do just that, especially with the CompactFlash format which, while larger in form factor than the more recent SD, MMC and xD cards, offers greater capacities.
Lexar raised the capacity bar in CompactFlash with its announcement of a 2GB and 4GB CompactFlash card, speed rated at 32x and aimed at the advanced amateur/pro photographer. The cards offer a minimum sustained read and write speed of 4.8MB per second and are equipped with Lexar's Write Acceleration technology (WA). The 2GB card is expected to ship this month for a suggested $699.99 and the 4GB card in the second quarter for a suggested retail price of $1,499.99.
Lexar also announced that it will boost the speed of its Professional Series CompactFlash cards to 40x, which will be available in 256MB and 512MB capacities and will feature WA technology. The speed of the 1GB Type I CompactFlash card has been upped to 32x. Estimated retail pricing for the 256MB, 512MB and 1GB cards is expected to be $139.99, $249.99 and $399.99, respectively.
The company added a 7-in-1 USB 2.0 Multi-Card Reader to address the newest flash form, the xD-Picture Card. The reader accepts CompactFlash I/II, Memory Stick, SD, Smart Media, MMC and xD formats at a suggested retail of $39.99.
In its mainstream consumer CompactFlash lineup, Lexar announced a line of 16x High-Speed Series CompactFlash in 128MB, 256MB and 512MB capacities. The cards also feature WA technology. Suggested retail pricing for the 256MB and 512MB cards are expected to be $149.99 and $289.99, respectively.
Panasonic introduced a portable photo printer, the SV-P20, which is powered by AC or its provided lithium-ion battery pack. The pocket-sized printer creates 290-dpi, credit-card-sized photo prints. Panasonic's original over-coating process helps ensure prints' longevity. Users can also turn their photos into stickers using optionally available pre-cut adhesive paper. The SV-P20 prints digital images directly from SD/MMC cards and can be connected to a PC via USB. A 1.5-inch color LCD lets users view the images on the printer before printing.
PNY Technologies unveiled the Attaché, a USB 2.0 flash drive series offering file transfer rates up to 40 times faster than USB 1.1. The drives will be available in 128MB and 256MB storage capacities retailing for $89.99 and $139.99, respectively.
SimpleTech introduced its "PRO X" line of CompactFlash cards, delivering write speeds of 4MB/sec. The new cards incorporate "Xcell" multitasking technology, with a new advanced controller that provides an increase in throughput. The cards will be available in capacities ranging from 256MB to 1GB retailing from $109 to $349.
SmartDisk introduced the FlashTrax handheld portable device for offloading and storing digital images and music. FlashTrax can store images transferred from any flash memory card onto the built-in 30GB USB2.0 hard drive and displays them on a 3.5-inch LCD screen. Users can zoom in, out and scroll, or choose a slide-show function. Images may also be viewed on any TV. It sports a built-in MP3 player with a built-in speaker, transfer speeds of up to 480MBps, and can also serve as an external hard drive. It ships in April for a suggested retail of $499.99.
Sound Vision under its ArmChair Electronics brand, introduced the TV PhotoAlbum, a set-top box card reader with a wireless keyboard and remote control for viewing photo slideshows on a television. The TV PhotoAlbum can read images from CompactFlash SmartMedia, Microdrive, Memory Stick and SD/MMC.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.