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Plextor Corp., a leading maker of digital media equipment, has unveiled its PX-SP series hard disk drives that come equipped with special jackets that absorb drops or bumps and provide higher reliability for everyday use, according to the company’s claims.

“Our goal is to give customers a wide range of options for dependably and securely storing their valuable data, whether at home or at the office. Like all Plextor products, the PX-SP series drives are designed and manufactured to the highest levels of quality and reliability,” said Michael Arbisi, vice president, channel sales for Plextor.

Plextor’s PX-SP family of hard drives utilize 2.5” hard disk drives (HDDs) with 5400rpm motor speed, 8MB cache and provide USB 2.0 support. The PX-SP series come with a specially designed silicon jacket that helps prevent the unit from crashing if it is accidentally dropped, as the silicon bumpers are claimed to absorb shocks.

While the promise of reliability that Plextor declares has some ground, it should be noted that the company does not proclaim the strength of shock that the HDD can survive, a characteristic that every hard drive maker usually declares, especially in case of mobile products. It is known that notebooks with active hard disk drive protection systems, such as IBM ThinkPad, that halts HDDs when it thinks the laptop is falling down, ensure that hard drives survive even in case the laptops fall from a table. Moreover, modern mobile hard drives park their heads into a special ramp that ensures their stable position in case of a fall. Therefore, it is not completely clear how much additional protection does the silicon jacket provide.

Plextor PX-SP series drives will ship to distributors in North and South America in May 2006. The PX-SP08U, with 80GB capacity, has a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of $169. The PX-SP12U, with 120GB capacity, has a MSRP of $260.00. All retail packages include two-year full parts and labor warranty and unlimited toll-free technical support.

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