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VisionTek Steps Into USB Drive Market

Inverness Ill. – VisionTek has released two lines of USB of drives, one based on USB 2.0 and the other on the slower USB 1.1 specification.

The company, a division of the Hartford Computer Group which bought Argus Camera on July 16, has four SKUs in its Go USB 1.1 product line with capacities of 64MB, 126MB, 256MB and 512MB. The USB 2.0 Go Extreme series adds a 1GB model to this line up. Prices range from $39.99 to $329.99 for both lines.

VisionTek’s executives said having products based on two technologies delivering vastly different download speeds on store shelves could cause consumer confusion. Particularly since the USB 1.1 drives will not function in a USB 2.0-equipped PC, so to avoid this situation VisionTek is using the USB Implementers Forum’s logo for each type of technology. The USB 1.1 drives simply say USB, while the USB 2.0 versions have Hi-Speed USB printed on the merchandise.

VisionTek expects the USB drive market to continue on a quick growth path. The company cited data from Gartner Dataquest that showed the market grew by a factor of four from 2001 to 2002. Supporting this growth in the coming years is the increasing demand for digital cameras and other multimedia devices. The often mentioned, but never realized, demise of the floppy diskette could also boost USB drive sales as consumer look for another method of quickly sharing files between computers.

The Go and Go Extreme products were initially rolled out in the Fry’s Electronics chain, but the company expects to add additional retailers soon.