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Kingston upgrade kit extends life of notebooks

Good news for notebook users, bad news for notebook resellers

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Kingston Technology reckons it has just extended the life expectancy of your notebook PC by one year, thanks to a hard disk upgrade kit. StrataDrive Plus is described by Kingston as a hardware and software solution for such upgrades. The product will initially be aimed at corporate users, but Maria Garcia Martin, product manager at Kingston, said that the arrival of a simple upgrade solution could make a laptop a more attractive proposition for the consumer market as well. Currently 85 per cent of notebook PCs are bought by the corporate world, and of these, 80 per cent have a hard drive with less than 1GB capacity. By upgrading with StrataDrive, older machines can boost capacity to anything from 3.2GB to 14GB. The new hard drive comes in a static-proof jacket to protect data during the transfer, and the StrataDrive Plus version comes with the software, StrataMove, to simplify the data transfer. In theory, this means upgrades can be carried out by non-techies. An extra tool, Disk Manager allows users to reorganise data on the new hard drive, and ensure that there is no transfer of corrupted material from one disk to another. It is available without the software, for those who like to do these things by hand. Research from IDC indicates that notebooks are growing in popularity. Currently the market accounts for 20 per cent of total computer shipments, but it is expected to reach 24.5 per cent by 2001. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 13.9 per cent between 1999 and 2002. ®

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