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External storage comes in all shapes and sizes from all manner of companies and at a whole range of prices. From the now ubiquitous Flash drive to dual layer external DVD burners or even solid state hard disks it's all available if you've got the funds to get what you need.

Provided your needs are relatively simple, that is you want lots of storage at a great price and don't much care about fancy RAID arrays, redundancy, speed or compact size, then you simply can't beat a beefy hard disk hooked up to your PC by either USB2.0, Serial ATA or perhaps FireWire. In solely financial terms there's no cheaper way to add large amounts of storage space your PC without even opening the case.

Today I'm taking a a look at a very stylish 160GB external drive from ATMT, a company who are now branching out but who have until now primarily concentrated on producing reliable, cost effective external storage solutions for a variety of home and business users.

The GIGABOX currently sells for just over 80 at Scan Computers in its 160GB version and comes with dual USB2.0 ports and a built-in 6-in-1 memory card reader.

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High Speed External Storage Solution
Build-in High Speed USB2.0 only or USB2.0+FireWire 1394 Combo Bridge Adapter (Combo Version)

Compact Aluminum Case Body
Rugged Aluminium Case Body for Excellent Heat Dissipation and Great Protection on Hard Disk Drive

Space Saving Design for Vertically Operation
Compact, Modern & Stylish Design for Vertically Operation

Plug & Play and Hot Insertion/Removal Capability
Compatible with Windows98 SE, ME, 2000, XP and MAC OS9.x or above Quick & Easy Installation

80GB ~ 250GB Hard Disk Included (at choice)

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In the box you'll discover the unit itself, a mid-cable power transformer with separate figure-eight power lead. Drivers are included for the hub and memory card reader (if required) and you also get a fairly basic quick-start pamphlet. There's no need for masses of drivers and literature because for most users getting started with the GIGABOX is as simple as plugging in the power lead, connecting the USB cable and then switching it on.

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Windows will detect and set up the drive automatically assigning it a free drive letter in the process. Above you can see how device manager reports the GIGABOX which also conveniently informs us that the hard disk lurking inside is a Western Digital WD1600BB, a 7200RPM drive with 2MB of cache, an ATA100 interface and Fluid Dynamic Bearings which theoretically means less heat, less noise, less friction and less vibration.

If at this stage you're wondering what 160GB gets you, here's what WD claim you can cram in:

Up to 45,000 digital photos
Up to 40,000 songs (MP3)
Up to 4,000 songs (uncompressed CD quality)
Up to 12 hours of Digital Video (DV)
Up to 71 hours of DVD quality video
Up to 19 hours of HD video


So now you know.

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