updated 10:55 am EDT, Mon June 2, 2008
WD Scorpio Black Ships
Western Digital started the week by shipping the 320GB Scorpio Black, its largest-capacity high-speed drive. The 2.5-inch Serial ATA drive enters the increasingly competitive arena of performance notebook drives and includes specs that are normally reserved for desktop drives, including a 7,200RPM spin rate and 16MB of cache to reduce the need for disk access. It also touts measures to protect against damage from the read head; a safe parking technique avoids damage when the drive is switched off, while the more common addition of a free-fall sensor keeps the head away from the magnetic surface in the event of a drop.
The storage maker claims quiet disk access and power consumption comparable to a slower 5,400RPM drive. Models ship with as little as 80GB of space, though the 320GB model sells for $249 and will be available both pre-installed for upcoming notebooks as well as through a kit for owners willing to swap out hard drives themselves.