Panasonic Introduces New CD Products

Information Today, February 1996 | Go to article overview

Panasonic Introduces New CD Products


Panasonic Communications & Systems Company recently announced a number of new CD-ROM-related products. These autochangers, portable drives, and writer/readers are described in detail below.

The Five-Disc Autochanger

In response to the growing number of multimedia computer users who regularly access multiple CD-ROMs, Panasonic has introduced its Big 5 networkable, five-disc quad-speed autochanger. The SQ-TC500N features technology that provides reliable five-disc operation in a half-height bay.

The autochanger features the Easy Exchange disc tray system for effortless disc insertion and removal and software that allows users to point and click on screen to switch CD-ROMs in less than five seconds.

The drive features a 600 KB/second transfer rate, 200-ms access speed, and 256 KB buffer for smooth video playback. It connects to systems via an enhanced IDE ATAPI interface. The Big 5 autochanger is compatible with CD DA, Video CD (requires an MPEG board, not included), and Photo Multisession formats. It installs in a 5.25-inch half-height drive bay and weighs just 2.9 lbs. The suggested retail price is $399.

Portable Quad-Speed Drives

Panasonic claims to have the world's first quad-speed PCMCIA portable CD-ROM drive, the KXL-D740.

Designed for mobile computer users who want to upgrade their notebooks, the new KXL-D740 weighs in at just 14 ounces and comes bundled with a PCMCIA Type II SCSI II card. The KXL-D740 connects to a notebook computer through the PCMCIA Type II card or to a desktop computer equipped with a SCSI II interface. The dimensions are 5.52 x 1.4 inches, and it is 8 inches deep.

The Panasonic KXL-D740 has a 600 KB-per-second transfer rate and 128 KB memory buffer. It operates on six AA batteries, providing up to two hours of data and four hours of audio. A power save feature reverts to the "sleep mode" after four minutes of non-usage. the new PCMCIA portable CD-ROM drive is compatible with CD DA, Photo CD Multisession, Video CD and CD-i formats and doubles as an audio CD player.

Panasonic also offers a Mac version of the quad-speed portable drive, the KXL-D742. Both the KXL-D740 and KXL-D742 carry a suggested retail price of $499 and are available through Panasonic computer distributors and resellers. Also available is the KXL-D720, a double-speed PCMCIA portable CD-ROM drive, which carries a suggested retail price of $399.

Portable Drive with Built-in Sound

Panasonic has also introduced the KXL-D745, a quad-speed PCMCIA portable CD-ROM drive with built-in sound. The KXL-D745 is designed for mobile computer users who want to upgrade their notebooks for high-quality video and sound presentations that can't fit on a floppy disk. "Most of today's portable computers don't offer built-in multimedia sound and video," said Timothy J. Curran, group vice president and general manager of Panasonic's Computer Product Division. …

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