updated 11:50 pm EDT, Tue July 15, 2008
400GB Toshiba laptop drive
Playing catch-up with competitors Hitachi and Samsung -- both of which have begun shipping 500GB laptop drives -- Toshiba has finally announced a new 400GB high-capacity drive along with a new line-up of high-performance 7,200rpm 2.5-inch HDDs. The new 400GB drive boosts areal density to 477Mbit/s (308Gbpsi) to achieve a capacity of 400GB on just two platters and is touted as its "low-noise flagship model." The new 400GB notebook drive (MK4058GSX) is expected to hit mass production in September and will target both notebook PC and consumer electronic applications; however, the company expects to ramp up production of its higher performance 7,200rpm models of its current drives next month, including the 320GB (MK3254GSY) model and the smaller 80GB, 120GB, 160GB and 250GB capacities.
Toshiba says its MK4058GSX uses an improved read-write head and enhanced magnetic layer to boost areal density and achieve a capacity of 400GB on only two platters, the highest data density of any of Toshiba's 2.5-inch drives. In addition, it has reduced acoustic noise during data seek by 2 decibels (dB) compared to the company's current top-of-the-line 320GB MK3252GSX: "As a result, the new 400GB drive is ideally suited for noise-free playback of movies and music on notebook PCs and digital products," the company noted.
In addition, the new drive offers reduced energy consumption -- approximately 20 percent more efficient than the 320GB for longer battery life.
The five other drives that Toshiba has added to its line-up take full advantage of a 7,200rpm rotation speed to boost performance. Compared to the current 200GB model (MK2049GSY), Toshiba says the 320GB MK3254GSY improves maximum internal data transfers rate by approximately 14 percent and is 37 percent more efficient than the MK2049GSY in terms of energy consumption efficiency. In addition, all capacities support an optional Free Fall Sensor function that detects a falling HDD and parks the head before impact. Last month, WD began shipping a 7,200rpm versions of its 320GB notebook drive, which became available from OWC as an external portable drive
Toshiba also claims that the MK4058GSX is Toshiba's first 2.5-inch HDD that achieve chlorine and bromine concentrations below the standard required for recognition as a Toshiba environmentally conscious products (below 900ppm for each, and an overall total below 1,500ppm) and that uring their lifecycle, the new drives will have lower CO2 emissions by approximately 95g a year.