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I checked on this last night, Ed, and the mini iPod does use the same drive, and it costs only $249 instead of $299. Hasn't been released yet, though.
i thought the mini ipod had a toshiba drive, one of those new 0.85 inch drives they just announced. i recall reading something about how 4gb mini ipod prices would drop once toshiba increased the capacity to 5gb this summer.
could you cite the source for your info re mini ipod and the microdrive? even if it's the toshiba drive and not the hitachi microdrive, so long as it's a CF card it shouldn't matter much, except that we don't know anything about the performance/reliability of the toshiba drives.