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Western Digital offers a new spin on external hard drives

Western Digital has shook up the world of external hard drives by releasing the Media Center, which combines a 250GB Western Digital Caviar SE external hard drive with 8-in-1 card reader and USB 2.0 hub.

Western Digital has shook up the world of external hard drives by releasing the Media Center, which combines a 250GB Western Digital Caviar SE external hard drive with 8-in-1 card reader and USB 2.0 hub.

This means owners of this external hard drive can save money and space on the desktop because they don’t need to invest in a separate memory card reader or USB hub.

The Media Center also includes the company's Dual-option Backup feature, which follows in the footsteps of Maxtor’s OneTouch back-up solution. This gives consumers the option to back up data either automatically or on-demand with the simple touch of a button.

Users can schedule a recurring backup using a wizard, while a button glows blue to confirm that files will be backed up automatically. The Media Center and new external drives with Dual-option Backup are capable of backing up data from multiple sources. This is designed with users who have both PCs and notebooks in mind.

"The breadth of storage hungry content that consumers and businesses deal with today requires a high-performing and robust all-in-one storage peripheral," said Richard E Rutledge, vice president of marketing for Western Digital.

"Western Digital's Media Center delivers a feature-rich storage facility while at the same time providing users choice, convenience and flexibility for all of their storage needs."

The Media Center is compatible with eight memory card formats, including CompactFlash Type I and II, IBM Microdrive, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMedia Card and SD Card.

The built-in USB hub includes a USB 2.0 port at the front for easy connection of peripherals. There are also two FireWire ports built-in and Dantz Retrospect Express software is bundled to handle back-ups. The Media Center storage peripheral is compatible with Windows 98 SE/ME/2000/XP or Mac OS v9.2.2 or later operating systems.

The Media Center will be available in the region by the end of March. The suggested retail price for Western Digital's Media Center 250GB is $399.

Western Digital also introduced its new external USB 2.0 and FireWire hard drives with Dual-option Backup. The external USB 2.0/FireWire hard drives with Dual-option Backup are offered in storage capacities of 120, 160, 200 and 250GB.

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