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Western Digital, an expert in external and internal hard disk drives, introduced at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, its new Media Center HDD that combines hard drive, memory card reader, USB 2.0 hub and even a backup button. Analysts called the novelty “unique”, while professionals anticipate that device may become popular among digital video/photography hobbyists and music lovers.

Compatible with both PC and Mac, Western Digital’s Media Center storage devices pack one of the company’s well-known WD Caviar SE HDDs in capacity of 120, 160, 200 or 250 GB. Media Center HDD incorporated a card reader compatible with 8 major media card formats, including CompactFlash Type I and II, IBM Microdrive, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMedia Card and SD Card. In an attempt to provide even more comfort to its customers, WD also built-in a USB 2.0 hub with a USB 2.0 port on front as well as 2 FireWire ports for easy connection of peripherals.

Additionally, the newly unveiled HDDs have an exclusive Dual-option Backup system that gives consumers the option to back up data either automatically or on-demand with the simple touch of a button. Using an easy set-up wizard, users can schedule a recurring backup; 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 also capable of backing up data from multiple sources for consumers who have a number of drives and/or PCs and notebooks.

Separately Western Digital released a lineup of USB 2.0/FireWire HDDs that also sport Dual-option Backup system, just like the Media Center storage devices, but lack card reader and USB hub.

Western Digital’s Media Center and new USB/FireWire external hard drives with Dual option Backup are expected to be available this month through Western Digital’s retailers, distributors and the company’ online store.

Suggested retail price for Western Digital’s Media Center 250GB is $399 USD; suggested retail price for external USB 2.0/FireWire hard drives with Dual-option Backup 250GB is $349 USD.

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