Laptop Luggers Will Soon Have Gigabytes Galore

Even though the capacity of hard disks in many notebook computers has grown quite large, it still doesn't compare with that of most desktop PCs. As a result, people hitting the road with a portable computer must choose carefully which files to copy from their office machine. But Datasonix Corp.'s new portable storage device may end the fear of leaving behind something important.

The Boulder (Colo.) company has developed a removable tape cartridge and drive that hold an astonishing 1.25 gigabytes, or billion bytes of computer data--equivalent to more than 890 3.5-in, floppies. Called Pereos, it's a modified version of a new digital audio tape unit that Sony Corp. has introduced in Japan and Europe. The 10-oz., $595 drive performs like any other back-up tape drive, automating the movement of files between hard drive and tape. But Pereos is only the size of about two cigarette packs, and its $30 data cartridge measures a scant 0.85 in. by 1.18 in. by 0.20 in. Datasonix is aiming the product at traveling salespeople who need to carry several multimedia business presentations. Look for deliveries this fall.

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