Sony debuts CF Type II-compatible hard drive, to compete with flash

Park Ridge (New Jersey) - Signaling the fact that hard drive technology is nowhere near obsolescence, Sony Electronics announced this morning the release later this month to the US market, of a 5 Gb hard drive measuring 1.5 inches per side, that can fit in existing Compact Flash Type II slots.

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Sony Compactvault 5 Gb hard drive alongside a typical SanDisk CFII card. (Courtesy Sony Electronics, SanDisk)

Called the Compactvault, Sony claims the unit - designed primarily for high-end digital camera users - will hold up to 1,600 3 Mb digital images, or up to 200 minutes of MPEG-4 video. The company also boasts an impressive transfer speed of 12 Mb/sec, which could be especially important for photographers who frequently use the "burst mode" features of their cameras, to capture multiple images in sequence. Typically, such features are slowed down by the write speed of flash memory.

The announcement of CompactFlash for the European market was made last 31 October. This morning, Sony launched a Web site for Compactvault, which today only shows the front page, but should be populated with more information in the coming weeks. Hopefully then, we'll learn more about the unit's operating specifications - most intriguingly, its operating temperature.