Review: Coolmax Xtreme Files F1-B Drive

Storage
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Nov 14, 2004 by Mike Chin

Product
Extreme Files F1-B
5-in-1 External HDD / USB-2 / 80GB
Manufacturer
Coolmax
Street Price
~US$190

The plummeting price and soaring capacity increase of data storage in the past 12~18 months has not received much attention here at SPCR. Today, a typical 200G 7200 RPM drive sells for under US$100, and single drives with capacity of 400G are already on the market. Cheap, capacious USB memory sticks have also proliferated with the rush of a virus epidemic; capacities of 256mb and 512mb being commonplace. One and 2G memory sticks big enough for an entire OS are not difficult to find! Both of these developments amount to a virtual revolution in the way we use storage and our attitude towards it.

A simple illustration: Recently, I learned that my friend David, a tax accountant, transfers all the current client data back and forth between home and office with a single USB memory stick. His office uses many of these devices for quick backups and transfers. External HDD storage is also used to keep uncompressed backups of every data drive and the OS drive of key computers. No more tape, no more floppies or ZIP drives, not even burned CDs. Advances in storage technology have transformed a worrisome and tedious aspect of office data management into something resembling carefree ease for my friend David... and perhaps for thousands of other business people like him around the world.

External hard drive enclosures with USB2.0 or IEE1394 Firewire interfaces have been around for a while, but increasingly, they are packaged with a drive and with backup software designed to ease that process for ordinary PC users. After all the lost data over the decades, after all the fuss with backup tapes and complex extensive software, the industry is finally at the point where backups and storage really should be no big deal for any PC user.

The Coolmax Xtreme Files F1-B is one of the latest iterations of this type of external storage, designed with extreme control simplicity for the PC Everyman. The Coolmax Xtreme Files F1-B External Hard Drive is marketed as the "Ultimate 5-in-1 Data Backup File." The foot-wide retail package tells you all the basics:

* Storage *
* Security for Multi-Users *
* Single Button Backup *
* Restore *
* OS Backup *

3.5" Xtreme Files (F1) Specifications
Available interfaces
USB 2.0 or USB 2.0 and 1394 Firewire Combo
Interface Transfer Rate
480 Mbps (USB 2.0); 400 Mbps (IEEEE 1394) firewire
Interface Support
3.5" IDE HDD ( ATA66/100/133) up to 300GB
Connector
USB 2.0 normal B / 6-pin Firewire
Supported OS
Windows® 2000 / XP
Dimension
200/238(L) x 130/180(W) x 50(H) mm
Construction material
Plastic ( PC ) body and metal tray
Power Supply
AC input 100-240V ; DC output 12V/5V switching power adapter
Package Contents
3.5" Xtreme Files (F1) & Software CD, AC/DC Power adapter, User manual, Data Cables


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