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Pentax unveils Optio 33LF

Toshiba to double production of 1.8" hard drives by March 2004

Photo of the day: Hercules 3D Prophet 9800XT with the OverDrive mode

Pentax unveils Optio 33LF

Pentax introduced its new 3-megapixel Optio 33LF camera that is to arrive for sale late in November. The model bases on the 33L camera and differs by rotating display (180° horizontally and 270° vertically) similar to those used in CANON PowerShot G series.

  • CCD: 1/2.7", 3.2 million pixels
  • Resolutions: 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 1024x768, 640x480; movies: 320x240 @ 16fps
  • Focal length: 5.8-17.4mm (38-114mm in 35mm equiv.), F2.6-5.0, 3x optical zoom and 2.7x digital zoom
  • Depth resolution: 40 cm to inf. Normal, 10-50 cm Macro
  • Exposures: 1/2000-2 s

  • Media: SD/MMC, 12MB built-in memory
  • LCD: 1.6" TFT
  • ISO: 100/200/400
  • Size: 108.5x64.5x41.5mm
  • Weight: 175 g

Source: PC Watch

Toshiba to double production of 1.8" hard drives by March 2004

Toshiba announced a new strategy to increase production volumes of 1.8" hard drives. Today at the press conference company representatives said that by March 2004 Toshiba plans to double monthly hard disk production from the current 300 thousands to 600 thousands.

Today Toshiba is the world-largest maker of 1.8" HDDs anyway that controls 98% of the world market. Its primary customers are manufacturers of various compact storage, audio players, comms, car electronics and some sub-notebooks. According to Toshiba, the boom of demand for 1.8" hard disks is still ahead, and by 2006 the market should grow by at least 8 times to make 25 million units.

As you know, Toshiba entered the 1.8" HDD market in 2000 with its 2GB model. Today it ships 20, 30 and 40 GB models 5-8mm thick.

The new strategy implies the increased number of outsourcing orders from Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics Industries. (The corresponding agreement was singed as far back as in January.) MKE will make hard drives for Toshiba at PT Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics Peripherals Indonesia. All such products will be sold under Toshiba´s trademarks.

Besides, in May 2002 MKE stopped the volume production of desktop HDDs, having passed all related facilities to Maxtor on August 21, 2002. Since 1994, MKE, as a partner of Quantum, made 104 million hard disks. Then it continued its partnership with Maxtor, which bought Quantum HDD Business Unit in April 2001.

And further is some brief information about Toshiba´s new rival in this market. From March 2004 GS Magicdrive, a subsidiary of GS Magicstor, plans to launch volume production of 1.8" hard drives. First, we should see the 40, 30, 20 and 15 GB 1.8" drives. GS Magicdrive´s production plan for 2004 is 2.66 million units; in 2005 the company plans to ship 10 million units already, with 20 million planned for 2006. So I guess Toshiba won´t be left alone in this market anyway.

Photo of the day: Hercules 3D Prophet 9800XT with the OverDrive mode

We are currently testing the new Hercules 3D Prophet 9800XT graphics card.

It bases on ATI Radeon 9800XT, has 256Mb of 256-bit DDR memory, 412/730 MHz GPU/memory clock speeds. This model has an interesting OverDrive supported by Catalyst 3.9 drivers. It overclocks the GPU up to 445MHz. As you know, "usual" Radeon 9800 cards sometimes run at 432MHz, sometimes at 418MHz (vs. the default 412MHz) depending on GPU temperature. But this model jumped to 445MHz at once, just occasionally slowing down to 432MHz. Anyway, all the details will be provided in the coming review, and today you can take a look at the photos:

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