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Toshiba launches thinner spinner

1TB standard notebook format drive

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Seagate's failure to capitalise on its start-of-year areal density advantages is being laid bare: Toshiba has followed Samsung and Western Digital by adding a 1TB, standard format notebook drive to its roster, leaving Seagate out in the cold.

Toshiba's MQ01ABD is an advance on its 3-platter, 1TB notebook drive, the MK1059GSM, which doesn't fit in a standard notebook drive bay as it has a 12.5mm z-height (thickness). That drive stores 334GB on each of its platters.

The newer product stores 500GB and its areal density rating is 744.1Gbits/in2, which Toshiba claims is "best-in-class storage density." The M8 SpinPoint's areal density is 625Gbit/in2, a good deal less. WD doesn't reveal the Scorpio Blue's areal density.

Two platters means a 9.5mm z-height and the standard notebook drive bay is now available to Toshiba at this capacity level, following from Samsung's earlier SpinPoint M8 and Western Digital's recent 1TB Scorpio Blue. Seagate is buying Samsung and so will get its hands on this drive.

Toshiba's thinner spinner has an 8MB buffer, a SATA II interface and spins at 5,400rpm. Tosh says it is aimed at applications such as high-end notebook and desktop PCs, mobile workstations, gaming consoles, DVR set-top boxes, and external storage boxes.

The company says it is both energy efficient and quiet, drawing 0.55watts during idle mode and "emitting a maximum of 19dB at idle and 24dB during seek operations". It's also "greener" than previous Tosh drives.

The new disk will be in mass production in mid-August, with capacity points of 250, 320, 500 and 750GB as well as the 1TB maximum. ®

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