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Toshiba unveils sub-notebook HDD pair

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Toshiba's post-HD DVD re-habilitation continues - today it announced two new 1.8in hard drives, a family of products it highlighted as a cornerstone of its future product strategy.

Enter, then, the 80GB MK8016GSG and the 120GB MK1216GSG, a pair of small HDDs aimed less at portable media players like the iPod - a key application for Toshiba's past 1.8in drives - and more at high-end notebooks and UMPCs.

Think of machines like Toshiba's own Portégé R500 - reviewed here. The two drives weigh 62g and spin at 5,400rpm - a respectable speed for a notebook drive. They connect over a 1.5Gb/s SATA link. They're physically hooked up with a Micro SATA connector.

The drives measure 78.5 x 54 x 8mm, so they'd fit nicely into the MacBook Air had Apple fitted it with a SATA port. We hope there's an upgrade in the offing - the 5400rpm spin speed would certainly boost the Air's 4200rpm, parallel ATA interface below-par drive performance.

Whatever machine the Toshiba drives are destined for, they'll make for a cheaper, more capacious alternative to solid-state drives. Mass production of both HDDs will start in April.

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