LITE-ON USED TO be known for inexpensive optical drives, but they are now branching out into places where they have never gone before. Did you know they made photoframes, SSDs and cameras?
Clamshells come in four colors
The mainstay of Lite-On’s business is still optical disks, and there are enough new models to keep anyone happy. The eTDU108 is a clamshell/top loading model aimed squarely at the netbook market. The nice thing about it, other than the four colors, is that it is entirely USB powered.
If you need to burn discs, the eSAU208 is a more traditional tray loading external drive, basically a laptop drive in a slim case. Probably the best thing about this one is that you can also power it off a single USB cable, something that is normally very hard to achieve. Lite-On thought ahead, and if your notebook or PC can’t supply the needed power to burn from one USB port, the indicator on the back will change from blue to red. There is a supplied Y-cable which should be enough to power the burn with power from a second port on all but the cheapest machines.
Should you need more capacity, you can move to the ‘full sized’ DX-401S, a 4x external BD-ROM. This model is a standard 5 1/4″ drive with a rather nice looking black and white plastic case wrapped around it. Writing BDs is done with the iHES208, an internal 8x BD-Combo drive with Litescribe. Given how much Lightscribe CDs and DVDs cost, paying those fees plus the DRM infection licenses on BDs will likely put blank disks in the new car range.
A photoframe with a twist
Stepping out of the pack in the digital photoframe business is tough, they are commodities. Last year, Abit did just that with the FunFab, and then they closed up shop. Hopefully that won’t happen to Lite-On with their Skyla 8″ photoframe and scanner combo. You just feed in pictures, and they show up on the screen. This may not mean much to those who build their own PC, but your grandmother will love it.
One that is easier to describe is the new SSD line by Lite-On. They come in 32, 64 and 128GB capacities with a 200MBps read and 85MBps write speed. There is a 64M DDR cache, and the controller has Marvell markings on the chip. It looks like a mainstream and fairly basic SSD.
Like Lightscribe but cheaper
The next one really caught me by surprise, a technology called Label Tag. It is included in the latest 24x DVD-Rs, and as you can see, it burns labels on the data side of the disc. You lose some space, the circular tag is burned after the data, but if you don’t fill the disc to 4.7G, it is worth using the extra space for a label.
Unlike Lightscribe, the burn happens at full recording speed, so at 24X, it will literally take a few seconds. Since the discs are standard DVD-Rs, and a quick check found the drives for under $30, there doesn’t seem to be anything to complain about.
Cute and rugged
Last up is an interesting little video camera that is aimed squarely at the cheap and pocketable class of devices. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it will more than likely end up with an HP logo when it hits retail. The camera is a water resistant, rubberized device that will take 720p video.
This unnamed part is about the height of a clamshell cell phone and twice as wide, and feels really good in your hand. There were no more specs given, but seeing that there was an exact duplicate of the product in the DGX booth, at least we know who makes it.S|A