Toshiba announces 320 GB notebook hard drive

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Irvine (CA) – Toshiba announced a new generation of 2.5" mainstream, hard drives with a maximum capacity of 320 GB. The company also announced its entry into the performance 2.5" market with 7200 rpm drives that provide up to 200 GB of storage space.

By the end of this year, you will be able to buy mainstream notebooks that will boast the storage capacity of mainstream desktop computers that were in the market at the end of 2006: As part of a general refresh of its 2.5" hard drive family, Toshiba announced a 5400 rpm series drives MK-46GSX and MK-52GSX, which will be available in versions ranging from 80 to 320 GB.

Especially impressive is the fact that the 320 GB model runs on only 2 disks, storing 160 GB on each 2.5" platter. The storage density on these 160 GB disks is 254 Gbits/in2 – which is the highest announced so far for mass-production hard drives. First 160 GB 2.5" hard drives became available in early 2006, indicating that the hard drive industry is on track to double the storage capacity of 2.5" hard drives every 18 months.

Other 52GSX drives will be available in versions with 250 GB, 160 GB, 120 GB and 80 GB, utilizing only one disk. This family is rated at a media transfer rate of 801 Mb/s and an average seek time of 12 ms.

The 46GSX series will be available in capacities of 250 GB, 160 GB, 120 GB and 80 GB and integrate 1- and 2-disk (120 GB) designs with a storage density of 200 Gbits/in2. According to Toshiba, the 46GSX achieve a media transfer rate of 759 Mb/s and a seek time of 12 ms.

For performance notebooks, Toshiba will begin offering 7200 rpm drives, which the company expects will make up to 25% of the 2.5" hard drive market. The MK-GSY drives will be available as 80 GB, 120 GB, 160 GB and 200 GB models, offering a media transfer rate of 895.9 Mb/s and an average seek time of 12 ms, the manufacturer said. Toshiba representatives also told us that the drives integrate power saving technologies that decrease the power consumption of the drives to between 0.9 and 2.3 watts.

All three drive series integrate a 3.0 Gb/s Serial ATA interface. Free-fall sensor options are available on select models.

All hard drives announced by Toshiba today are expected to be shipping in the fourth quarter. Pricing has not been announced.