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You Can Take it with You

Category: Hardware Published on Friday, 03 September 2010

Apricorn Adds Muscle to Portability with Three New Products 

Let's face it, there are a lot of companies that would like us to spend our hard-earned bucks on portable hard drives, DVD burners, etc. But few actually stand out from the crowd by offering portability plus "I've-gotta-have-it-ability."


The folks at Apricorn have hit the market with three products that rate fairly high on the I've-gotta-have-it meter, including a DVR expander, an encrypted portable hard drive and a compact DVD burner.

The Apricorn DVR Expander ($99 - $249 depending on capacity and service provider) offers additional storage capacity for digital video recorders. I played with the behemouth of the group, which increases the Directv DVR capacity to 2.2 terabytes (TB). There are also expanders for cable systems and for Dish Network DVRs that top out at 1 TB.

Installation was fairly easy. Just attach the expander to the USB or SATA port on the back of the DVR, perform a power reboot on the DVR by unplugging it and then plugging it again, and you're in business.

Be aware that you will no longer have access to the programs on the hard drive installed in your DVR. But don't fret. The recordings are still there and you can get at them by disconnecting the expander.

Also, make sure you make a list of the programs you have scheduled to record, because it can be a real crap shoot as to whether the schedule is copied over to the new hard drive, even though it tells you it's rebuilding the schedule list during the insdtallation process.

Apricorn's Biometric Drive with Encryption ($119 - $159 depending on capacity) is designed to give you up to 640 GB of portable storage while keeping your data away from intruders.

Installation was easy. Just plug it into an available USB port and install the software that comes with the drive. Other features include:-- 128-bit AES hardware encryption.

  • Biometric access. All you need to do is swipe your finger on a built-in sensor for access to your data (hint: make sure your hands are clean, not sweaty, oily or greasy or the sensor won't read your fingerprint correctly).
  • 128-bit AES hardware encryption.
  • It works with PCs and Macs.
  • It allows password access if the biometric reader doesn't work.
  • It has an integrated USB 2.0 cable, which stays attached to the drive so you can't lose it.

Lastly, we have the Apricorn EZ Writer II Dual Layer DVD Burner ($79). This is actually a new version of their EZ Writer LS burner, but lacks the LightScribe capability of its predecessor.

So what does it offer that it's earlier version doesn't?

  • It's bus powered. The older burner needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet.
  • It writes to dual-layer DVDs at 6x rather than the 4x recording speed offered by the EZ Writer LS.
  • It comes with an integrated dual USB cable. The second cable can be used to power the burner if it doesn't work when connected to only one USB port on your computer.

Find out more about these products by going to Apricorn's website at


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