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Hewlett-Packard has strengthened its portfolio of storage products with a line of CD-Rewritable (CD-RW) products that "redefines the price/performance equation in this rapidly growing market". Products include new top-of-the-range the HP CD-Writer Plus 8100 (shipping from September 1), an internal IDE CD-RW drive, and the existing CD-Writer Plus 7200 models at cheaper prices. CD-R media is the lowest common denominator for media interchange on the desktop, rivalled only by the 1.44MB floppy, said Wolfgang Schlichting, research manager at IDC. "Additionally, CD-RW media interchange is quickly becoming viable since most new CD-ROM drives have adopted MultiRead specifications which allow these drives to read all CD-R and CD-RW media." The new HP CD-Writer Plus 8100 is an internal rewritable IDE drive that reads data at up to 24X transfer speed and writes at up to 4X transfer speed. The drive contains HP Fast Format, which allows users to format a CD-RW disk in less than 5 minutes - an industry first, according to HP which say the process once took an hour to complete. The CD-compatible drive provides users with up to 650MB of removable data storage capacity, and is bundled with a clutch of software utilities from Adaptec and HP. Disk labelling, CD-mastering, sound recording, drag and drop saving, and automatic data retrieval and back up software are all included. Retail prices start at £279(EX VAT). ®

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