After being the first to release a 1TB desktop hard drive, Western Digital is at it again with the release of the first 1TB 2.5-inch mobile hard drive.
The drive, known as the Scorpio Blue 1TB, will be accompanied by a smaller 750GB brother as well. These are both already shipping to retailers, and will run you for $189.99 (750GB) and $249.99 (1TB).
Now, it should be noted that this isn’t truly the first drive of this size, given that pureSilicion released a 1TB SSD of this form factor, but kudos to WD on releasing the first 1TB HDD measuring only 2.5-inches.
Noticeably absent from the momentous solid state drive (SSD) market is Western Digital, whose Raptor hard drives have often been used as a performance comparison when benchmarking the fastest SSDs. Following a $65 million cash acquisition of SiliconSystems, a supplier of SSDs for the embedded systems market, look for Western Digital to soon jump into the foray.
"We are delighted to have the SiliconSystems team join WD," said John Coyne, president and CEO of WD. "The combination will be modestly accretive to revenue and margins as a result of SiliconSystems' existing position as a trusted supplier to the well-established $400 million market for embedded solid-state drives. SiliconSystems' intellectual property and technical expertise will significantly accelerate WD's solid-state drive development programs for the netbook, client and enterprise markets, providing greater choice for our customers to satisfy all their storage requirements."
Western Digital says it has immediately begun integrating its acquisition, starting with SiliconSystems now becoming known as the WD Solid-State Storage business unit.
In a related Q&A regarding the acquisition, WD says it plans to "retain substantially all of the approximately 100 employees" working for SiliconSystems. However, WD was more coy when it came to offering an ETA for marketing SSDs, saying that it only announces new products when they begin shipping.
You know what's larger than a single 2TB Western Digital hard drive? The answer is four them, all stuffed into Western Digital's ShareSpace NAS for a total capacity of 8 freakin' terabytes.
More than just increased storage, WD claims its new four bay NAS serves up 30 percent faster transfer speeds, along with support for DLNA media streaming.
"With its huge capacity and small footprint, WD ShareSpace has become a popular choice among small business owners. By doubling capacity and increasing transfer speeds, the new 8 TB WD ShareSpace offers more value to small business users," said Jim Welsh, senior VP and GM of WD's branded products and consumer electronics groups. "Digital media enthusiasts, on the other hand, will really appreciate the new streaming support which lets them easily stream to PCs, Macs and game consoles. With the new WD ShareSpace, we have made important improvements for all our customers."
Several other goodies abound, such as GigE connectivity, RAID 0/1/5 capabilities, built-in email alert system, iTunes server support, three USB 2.0 ports, and a built-in FTP server.
WD says the new 8TB capacity will be available this week through the company's online store in 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB capacities. The 8TB version will run $1700, and all three models include WD's Anywhere Backup software.
Confirming an earlier rumor that Western Digital had been nearing the release of a 2TB internal hard drive, the HDD maker is now producing and shipping the record capacity HDD. However, the new drive is so far only available through Mwave Australia.
The 2TB drive carries Western Digital's GreenPower moniker, an eco-friendly designation WD claims represents a 4-5 watt savings over standard desktop drives. According to Western Digital's product page, the new drive sips up to 7.4W during read/write operations, 4W at idle, and 0.97W during sleep or standby. Other specs for the WD20EADS include a 7200RPM spindle speed and 32MB of cache.
The drive sells for AU$378, which converts to about $250USD. No word yet on U.S. availability or pricing.
Tom's Hardwarereports that Western Digital will be first to market with a 2TB drive. The WD20EADS is a part of WD's GreenPower series, and uses four 500GB platters. Other specs include 32MB of cache and a seek time of 8.9ms.
Although Tom's Hardware reports that the drive will run at 5400RPM or 7200RPM, you should take the claim of 7200RPM with a grain of salt until we get our hands on actual hardware for testing. As this analysis from SilentPC on the first GreenPower drive indicates, GreenPower drives normally run at the slower speed.
How much will the first 2TB drive set you back? Around $210-240, rumors say, but we'll all know for sure when the drive hits retail shelves later this week. Will you be lining up for the first 2TB drive, or would you rather have a couple of 1TB drives? Join us after the break and sound off.
Western Digital, the second largest hard drive maker in the universe, is reportedly in discussions with Fujitsu to purchase its hard drive business. If it goes through, the acquisition would likely propel WD ahead of Seagate, who holds the top spot.
According to reports in Japan, Fujitsu would be willing to sell off its plants for somewhere between 70 billion and 100 billion yen, which equates to roughly $660 million to $944 million in US dollars. Such a move would be unprecedented and would qualify as one of the largest business unit sell-offs for a Japanese electronics company ever.
Fujitsu, who ranks No. 6 in hard drive manufacturing, has been struggling and it could get even worse if SSDs continue their march into the mainstream market. Reportedly the company is already looking to focus solely on its commercial customer business (Lenovo is mulling whether or not to pounce on Fujitsu's consumer section), so it might not be a matter of if, but when and to whom.
Monday, Western Digital joined Seagate in breaking the half-terabyte barrier for portable hard disks, with its rollout of two new 500GB portable hard disks, My Passport Essential and My Passport Elite. For those with slightly lower capacity requirements (and a bit less ready cash), WD also offers these drives in 400GB (and lower) capacities.
My Passport Essential's 500GB version costs $199.99, compared to My Passport Elite's $219.99, while the 400GB versions run $179.99 and $199.99 respectively. As we told you in our review of the 320GB version of My Passport Elite back in April , the Elite and Essential drives differ primarily in cosmetics and software bundle: Elite offers backup and file-sync software as well as the MioNet remote access program (which we liked), while Essential offers only file-sync software.
However, Elite now offers an additional feature: plug it into a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, and you can play media files stored on the Elite through your console. Elite offers a 5-year limited warranty, while Essential's limited warranty is only 3 years.
To learn how WD's My Passport Essential and Elite drives compare to Seagate's new FreeAgent|Go drives feature-wise, join us after the jump.
While the rest of the computing world inexplicably refuses to see a market for performance hard drives spinning faster than 7,200RPM, Western Digital is finding new segments for its flagship 10,000RPM Velociraptor. The company announced today it's shrinking the stupid-fast drive down to a 2.5-inch form factor for use in blade servers and 1U and 2U servers.
"WD is bringing to enterprise customers what PC enthusiasts already appreciate about the WD Velociraptor: a combination of high performance and high capacity for hard drive storage," said John Rydning, IDC's research director for hard disk drives.
Because server environments tend to be more mission critical than the average desktop, Western Digital claims its new enterprise model will be up to the job with the "highest available reliability rating of any SATA drive at 1.4 million hours MTBF."
The shrunken Velociraptor will come in both 300GB and 150GB capacities. Will anyone else join them?
We’ve been waiting with bated breath for Western Digital’s entrance into the world of the almighty terabyte. Its Caviar GP drive may have lost the right to stand at the top of the market and yell, “Firsties!” but it is the only terabyte drive built with energy-savings in mind.
Using Western Digital’s My Book Pro Edition II external drive is a lot like living next to an airport. If you’re a traveler, the five-minute taxi trip from your house to the airport is absolutely ideal, provided you don’t mind the constant sound of planes buzzing your rooftop. Seriously, the My Book is about as loud as it is useful—buy some earplugs and you’ll have a riveting experience.