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Toshiba Intros PC HD DVD Drive

Irvine, Calif. — Toshiba storage device division today introduced a half-height HD DVD writer for PCs and announced it would roll out Toshiba-branded portable external hard drives this spring.

The SD-H903A is an internal drive to be exhibited next week at International CES, with shipments taking place in February; pricing has not been set. The drive burns to 30GB HD DVD-R media and is capable of storing eight hours of HD video.

The initial rollout will be under OEM agreements.

Toshiba also just introduced its first branded external hard drives. The company, which had played in the hard-drive space only as an OEM supplier, decided to bring the three products to retail to take advantage of the booming hard drive market, said Maciek Brzeski, marketing VP, Toshiba storage device division.

“As consumers continue adopting digital lifestyles, personal storage needs are expected to grow significantly over the next few years with industry reports forecasting an annual growth rate of more than 40 percent through 2010,” he said.

The three portable drives will come in 100GB, 120GB and 160GB capacities and will ship this spring with a starting price point of $139. All are USB 2.0 powered.

Brzeski does not expect any conflict to arise between Toshiba and its OEM partner who also sells through retail. Brzeski would not say whether Toshiba will expand its presence in the retail external hard-drive market into desktop drives or network-attached storage.