Toshiba Rolls Out 500GB Netbook HDDs

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-09-17 Print this article Print

Toshiba says thanks to hardware and software improvements its new hard drives are about 13 percent faster than those in its previous 7,200 rpm product line. The MKxx56GSY series offers data storage capacities of up to 500GB and lower power consumption.

Toshiba's Storage Device Division Sept. 16 launched a new group of high-performance 7,200 rpm, 2.5-inch spinning disk drives for laptops, netbooks and desktops, including one with half-terabyte capacity.

And they're just in time, too, because it looks like the company should have no problem selling them, either to OEM customers or via branded products.

The Japanese computer maker reported Sept. 15 that sales of its lightweight netbooks now make up a full 10 percent of Toshiba's U.S. laptop computer shipments-only three months after the company began marketing them in the United States for the first time. 

Other companies, including Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, have been selling their small, lightweight netbooks in the United States for more than a year. Toshiba's first shipments of the inexpensive, basic-featured notebooks began flying off retail shelves in June.

More capacity, yet less power utilized

Thanks to hardware and software improvements, Toshiba said, its new HDDs are about 13 percent faster than those in its previous 7,200 rpm product line. The series is SATA (Serial ATA)-certified 3G bps, which indicates successful completion of stringent interface compliance testing defined by SATA-IO (the Serial ATA International Organization).

The MKxx56GSYseries offers capacities of up to 500GB for commercial and consumer notebook PCs, gaming notebooks and all-in-one desktop PCs, and features lower power consumption in standby and sleep modes, Toshiba said.

The series also boasts areal density of 395 gigabits per square inch, Toshiba said. The top-capacity 500GB drive can store about 142,000 digital photos, 131,000 digital music files, 222 hours of DVD-quality video or 58 hours of high-definition Video3.

According to industry analysts at IDC, notebook shipments exceeded desktop shipments for the first time in the third quarter of 2008, and PC manufacturers are looking for the smaller 2.5-inch HDDs to provide storage capacities and performance levels that rival larger 3.5-inch drives for a similar user experience.

The 250GB-per-platter MKxx56GSY series will be demonstrated in the SATA-certified section of the SATA-IO booth at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, held Sept. 22 to 24.

The new drives began shipping to PC manufacturers in limited quantities in June and July and are scheduled to enter volume production in the fourth quarter. For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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