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eSATA ExpressCard debuts

Links fast external drives to new notebooks

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Japanese hardware company Ratoc has announced one of the first external Serial ATA (eSATA) adaptors that connect add-on hard disk drives and RAID arrays like the LaCie Two Big to a host computer using the new, notebook-oriented ExpressCard 34 format.

ratoc rex-ex30s expresscard/34 sata adaptor

The REX-EX30S card slots into any 34mm or 54mm ExpressCard slot, but the company only ships drivers for Windows-based systems. The card's single eSATA port support data transfer rates up to 3Gbps with Native Command Queueing (NCQ) and a hot-swap capability. It's even RoHS-compliant, so it's lead-free to meet various regional import regulations due to come into force this year.

Ratoc's own tests show the eSATA card's read and write speeds are 2.2 and 2.7 times faster than a USB 2.0-connected hard drive, the company's website claims.

The card will retail in Japan for ¥10,500 ($89/£51) when it ships toward the end of this month. ®

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