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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Toshiba Gives Laptops a Storage Boost

Toshiba Gives Laptops a Storage Boost

Toshiba's 320-GB, 2.5-inch hard drive will double the maximum size available from the company less than two years ago, while Toshiba's new 200-GB, 2.5-inch drive adds to the increasing number of 2.5-inch drives that can hit a rotational speed of 7,200 rpm. Toshiba expects to begin mass-producing the new 2.5-inch hard drives this November.

Toshiba has announced it will soon begin offering manufacturers the ability to choose models from a new hard drive line that is specifically designed for use in high-end laptops and media players.
Achieving maximum densities of 320 GB and speeds of up to 7,200 rpm, the new 2.5-inch drives will incorporate some of the latest advances in hard disk technology. For example, Toshiba said it has made improvements to the head and the magnetic layer of the disk to increase the disks' "areal density" -- the amount of data that can be placed onto any given area of the storage medium.

For many prospective laptop buyers, the expanded capacity will be arriving in just the nick of time. Given the latest moves on the part of various online companies to distribute feature films and other video content over the Internet, such high storage capacities might become an absolute necessity sooner rather than later.

Boosting Performance

In addition, the improvements that Toshiba has made with respect to overall system performance in support of high-speed data transfers will be most welcome on high-end notebook PCs for business applications.

According to industry observers, the portable PC market has a voracious appetite for larger data capacities that is far from being sated. And as more laptops begin to incorporate digital TV tuners, WiMax chipsets, and even HD video recording software , the demand for extra storage capacity will only continue to escalate.

Toshiba's new 320-GB drive will double the maximum size available from the company less than two years ago. The new device will spin a pair of 160-GB platters at a speed of 5,400 rpm. At the time of the announcement, the new drive was the industry's largest commercially available capacity in a 2.5-inch format.

Another new drive with a maximum storage capacity of 200 GB adds to the increasing number of laptop drives that run at 7,200 rpm -- the current fastest speed for a mobile 2.5-inch product to date.

Speedier Transfer Rates

Toshiba claims the new 200-GB drive will be capable of improving internal data transfer rates over the company's previous 2.5-inch products by a maximum of 46 percent as well as increase the average random access time by some 8 percent. In addition, the device will ship with 16 MB of buffer memory to more effectively support high-speed transfers.

Toshiba's entire new line of 2.5-inch drives will incorporate an optional "free fall" sensor function that is capable of detecting abrupt changes in gravity. In such an event, the drive will automatically park its read-write head before the device crashes to the ground, Toshiba said.

Last but not least, Toshiba said its new disk offerings are fully compliant with the European Union's RoHS Directive, which places restrictions on the use of hazardous substances such as cadmium, lead, and mercury in electronics equipment. Toshiba expects to begin mass-producing the new drives this November.

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