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Toshiba tosses out uber-slim THREE TERABYTE HDD

Didn't need no steenkin' shingles, either

Toshiba has launched a 3TB small-form-factor hard drive, which must set some sort of record, surely.

Its MQ03ABB300 – what sexy names these suckers have – is a 2.5-inch disk drive with four platters each holding 750GB. That makes the drive 15mm thick (high in HDD parlance) and suitable for external drive use.

Tosh's latest offering follows on from its 2TB predecessor, the MQ01ABB200, has a 6Gbit/s SATA interface, a 600,000 hour MTBF rating, and spins at a stately 5,400rpm; not fast but it sure holds a lot of data.

It is a straightforward drive employing perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) with no shingling to increase track density and so hoist capacity upwards.

What about competing drives? HGST has a 1.5TB Travelstar 5K1500 spinning at 5,400rpm with 500GB/platter. It also has a 1.8TB Ultrastar rotating at 10,000rpm. That drive stores 450GB/platter. Looks like its 2.5-inch drive tech needs a PMR density boost.

Seagate’s Samsung unit has a 2TB Spinpoint MT9 with three platters and a 5.400rpm spin speed. Seagate has 2TB Constellation rotating faster at 7,200rpm and also 15mm thick. We think it has four platters.

WD has a 2TB Green drive with Intellipower giving it, we understand, a 5,400-5,900 rpm rating.

Toshiba has stolen a march on its competitors with this 3TB drive. It's the largest capacity 2.5-inch disk drive out there, but for how long? We can expect Tosh to spread its new level of PMR density across its external drive products and it should also boost its internal drives' capacities as well.

It's enticing to think what could happen if this recording tech could be applied to its 3.5-inch drive products where it is lagging behind Seagate and WD/HGST's product capacities.

The MQ03AABB300 will enter its sample shipment phase in May with general availability a few months, we suppose, after that. No pricing information has been released. ®

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