On the Road, Again

Shecom Computers makes the 7.2-ounce Ikebana USB 2.0 Slimline. This 0.8 x 3.3 x 5.3 inch 20 Gigabyte external hard drive can be carried in your pocket.

Priced at $159 it's in the range of acceptability. Shecom can be contacted at 714-692-7070 or www.shecom.com.

While we're on the subject of external (portable) hard drives, here's another product that merits mention (if you can afford it). EZQuest's Cobra+ sells for up to $419 and has capacities from 40 Gigabytes to 200 Gigabytes. The 200 Gigabyte ATA 100 runs at 7,200 rpm that supports high data transfer speeds. The system includes two IEEE 1394 standard FireWire ports with data throughput rates of up to 400Mbps. It also has an external power supply and a 2MB buffer.

EZQuest can be reached at www.ezq.com.

Check out the May 2003 edition of Computer Shopper for the Editors' Top 5. They review five desktop replacement notebooks. The IBM ThinkPad A31p ($3,499), the WinBook J4 ($3,136), the Toshiba Satellite 5205-S503 ($1,833), the Acer TravelMate 426LC ($1,599) and the Sony VAIO PCG-GRX620 ($2,279). All of the features vary and none of them are the same from machine to machine (speed, hard drive capacity, screen size, price, etc.), however, they rate the IBM ThinkPad A31p the highest. Business users and design professionals will like the ThinkPad. IBM can be contacted at www.ibm.com, WinBook at www.winbook.com, Toshiba at www.toshiba.com, Acer at www.acer.com and Sony at www.sonystyle.com.

Along with the Editors' Top 5, the May edition of Computer Shopper has a more in-depth review of the WinBook J4 ($3,136), Sharp's Actus MV12W ($1,899), the Sony VAIO PCG-FXA63 ($1,299) and the Sotec 3120X ($909).

Here's one that I haven't seen before. Velocity Micro (Richmond, VA) has the NoteMagix s56. The NoteMagix has an Intel Pentium 4 at 3.06 Gigahertz, 512K cache, 533 Megahertz Premium CPU heat sink and cooling system, Arctic Silver III Thermal Compound, an Intel 84SE+ICH3M motherboard with DDR, exclusive Blast Red chassis with Front Music DJ, a 15 inch SXGA+ TFT active-matrix LED screen, 64MB ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 ACP video, 512MB Corsair PC2100 DDR memory, 40 Gigabyte 5,400 rpm ATA/100 hard drive, 8x DVD+ 24x/10x/24x CD-RW combo drive, a removable floppy drive, S/PDIF digital output (5.1 CH), an integrated 56Kbps V.92 modem, integrated 10/100 Mbps network adapter, 4 USB 2.0 ports, a 1394 IEEE FireWire port and a 8-cell Smart Li-on battery.

The price for all this is $2,879. If you're interested, you can contact Velocity at 800-303-7866 or www.velocitymicro.com.

Here comes Dell Computer Corporation into the PDA market with their Axim X5 Pocket PC. The X5 comes in two configurations, high-end and low-end. The high-end has a 400 Megahertz Intel Xscale processor with 64MB of synchronous dynamic RAM (SDRAM), 48MB of Intel StrataFlash ROM and a chrome synchronization cradle for $349.

The low-end configuration has a 300 Megahertz Intel Xscale processor with 48MB of SDRAM, 32MB of Flash ROM and a synchronization cable for $249. The X5 also has a Secure Digital slot and a CompactFlash slot. The cradle can also charge an extra battery (optional), which is a feature not found on other PDAs.

Dell can be reached at 800-694-3355 or www.dell.com.

Micro Solutions, Inc. (DeKalb, IL) is shipping a DVD+RW Backpack drive. This high speed portable USB 2.0 drive features recording speeds of 4x with 4x media and can store up to 4.7 Gigabytes of data on a DVD disk. The Backpack records and plays DVD+R, DVD+RW, CD-R and CD-RW. The price for the Backpack is $349.

Micro Solutions can be contacted at 800-890-7227 or www.micro-solutions.com.