updated 08:50 am EDT, Fri October 6, 2006
Onkyo Wavio media drive
The portability of media hard drives such as the Unibrain iZak is somewhat muted by their need to attach to a home stereo or video system. The situation is different with the Onkyo Wavio MP-1000J, which is surprisingly flexible for those who simply want access to a large amount of content wherever they may be. Onkyo's drive enclosure is likely the first to include a 12-volt car adapter that can power the unit while it feeds audio or video to an in-car entertainment system. Likewise, the MP-1000J doesn't limit the user to a factory-installed hard drive. It ships with an empty 2.5-inch hard drive bay that gives the choice of as much storage as needed or even using different drives for different purposes. Support for 720p, optical audio, and rarer audio formats such as OGG round out its features. Onkyo is releasing the enclosure next week in Japan for the equivalent of $125; as the J label indicates, this initial version is Japan-only but should be followed in the future by a North American equivalent.