HP media drives - pocket versus personal

Hewlett-Packard (HP) offers a couple of different media drives for sale. These include the HP Personal Media Drives, and HP Pocket Media Drives. Unfortunately, based solely on their site, there's no clear indication of which drive offers exactly what.

In order to determine which is which, I ended up consulting both the HP site, and Amazon.com.

I did take a look at BestBuy.com, but it seems they don't sell these drives. I'm not sure what to make of that.

A newer computer

Since I've receive a tax refund in the next two weeks, I've been looking at purchasing a computer solely for business-related purposes. My current HP Pavilion a620n has served me rather well, but I purchased it shortly after I graduated from college, so it ended up with a deal of software from that period.

While looking for a newer computer, I took a look at HP's media drives. The model of computer I was looking at had the option to include the HP Pocket Media Drive bay. I've seen these before, so I started digging into it further, which lead me to the current question.

From what I can tell, newer HP Pavilion's offer the HP Pocket Media Drive bay - I haven't seen an HP Personal Media Drive bay.

Also, looking at support documentation, it seems that the HP Pocket Media Drive does not require a separate power supply, while the Personal Media Drive does.


The next question, since HP search wasn't showing many results, save for the HP Personal Media Drive, was to check Amazon.com.

Luckily, Amazon offered a bit more help.

A quick search turned up the following.

HP Pocket Media Drive

HP Personal Media Drive

First, the 160 GB Pocket drive is $20 more than the 160 GB Personal drive. The Personal drives are also larger in size than the Pocket drives.

Looking at the date the products were first available on Amazon, the 160, 300, and 500 GB Personal Media Drives were made available back in October 2001. On the other hand, the 160 GB Pocket and 750 GB Personal Media Drives were available in August 2007.


Based not only on the Amazon listing dates, but also the current HP availability on new computers, my (educated) guess is that the HP Pocket Media Drives are the new wave of HP Media Drives.

However, HP seems to be supporting newer models of the HP Personal Media Drives, as evident from the 750 GB model.

While Amazon.com does not offer it, HP.com does sell a 250 GB model of the HP Pocket Media Drive. This suggests also that the Pocket Media Drives are of a newer make, as I would expect Amazon to have products that HP does not, since the former is more likely to have stock in older products (not to say that Amazon isn't up-to-date, but rather that they cover a large variety of products).

Thankfully, both the HP Pocket Media Drives and HP Personal Media Drives offer USB support, which means that even if you don't have a bay, you can still benefit from this technology. And, based upon Amazon reviews, these are pretty solid products.