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.
In the interest of bolstering their line of portable hard drives, Samsung recently announced their newest 1.8-inch drive, which supports capacities up to 250GB.
The new drive, known as the Spinpoint N3U, will come with a native USB controller instead of a PATA controller, allowing it to work without any data conversion. This also provides fewer potential points of failure. The drive will use up to 40 percent less power than a drive of similar capacity, and can withstand a free fall drop of up to 50 centimeters.
Shipments are slated to begin in mid-July, and the drive is expected to cost $199.
For over a year now, Samsung's 1TB Spinpoint F1 hard drive has been a fan favorite among power users for its price to performance ratio, but the entire F1 series will soon be replaced with updated models, according to news and rumor site The Inquirer.
Reading like something out of a B-movie script, The Inq. claims to have spied some documents dangling out of a Samsung executive's briefcase.
"At the top of one of the documents, we saw an 'F1' had been crossed out and replaced with an 'F3.' At first we wondered whether Max Mosely might have cracked his legal whip down on Samsung's back, but we soon came to understand that, in fact, it was Samsung's next price list - due out in July," wrote Sylvie Barak of The Inquirer.
Without an official statement from Samsung, we can only speculate what the new line will bring to the table, but it will more than likely replace the F1 as Samsung's flagship series. In addition to upping the performance ante, the F3 could also usher in 1.5TB and 2TB capacities, both of which are missing from the F1 line.
Just this week Western Digital announced their 4TB My Book Studio Edition II.
The 4TB My Book sports two gigantic 2TB HDDs in RAID 0, and will work with both Macs and PCs. You’ll be able to connect this bad boy to your machine using eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 all while consuming up to 30 percent less energy. There’s also a fancy capacity gauge on the front that lets you see how much storage is available at a glance
Sure, you wanted to add some extra network storage with a NAS, but you just weren’t able to find anything stylish enough. Well, if a basic aluminum exterior with a single blue light is your definition of fashionable, look no further.
LaCie’s Big Disk and d2 network storage systems pack 1.5TB of storage (with an eSATA port for expansion) and 3TB of storage (by slapping two drives together using RAID 0) respectively. Both of them support a multitude of backup software, and play nice with DLNA-compliant devices.
The d2 Network and Big Disk Network are currently available for $190 and $380 respectively.
A-Data's newest external hard drives employ you to "enjoy technology with a touch of style." And by that, A-Data means you should decide between rolling with sweet pink, sapphire blue, purple, or a white color scheme for your portable storage needs.
The color selection comes courtesy of A-Data's CH91 external HDD line. Coated in a metal-like paint spray, the new drives are available in capacities up to 500GB (250GB and 320GB also available) and support Microsoft's ReadyBoost technology. The USB powered drives measure 134mm x 82mm x 16.7mm, feature a blinking LED to indicate power and activity, and comes with a USB Y cable, suede pouch, and backup software.
Early solid state drives (SSDs) suffered from a number of negative characteristics preventing them from finding use in mainstream applications. These included low capacity, surprisingly poor performance, reliability concerns, and high prices. Recent advances have addressed many of these concerns, but comparatively high prices still plague SSDs. Not for long, says Samsung, who expects SSD pricing to fall in line with HDDs in the next few years as flash memory prices continue to fall.
"Flash memory in the last five years has come down 40, 50, 60 percent per year," said Brian Beard, flash marketing manageing for Samsung Semiconductor, in a phone interview with CNet. "Flash on a dollar-per-gigabyte basis will reach price parity, at some point, with hard disk drives in the next few years."
Samsung, who makes both SSDs and HDDs, points out that hard disk drives have a fixed cost for its various parts, such as $40 or $50 for the spindle, motors, PCB, and cables, and that adding capacity or making them faster really doesn't add much incremental cost to the drive. But with SSDs, which also have a fixed cost for the PCB, case, and controller, adding capacity entails adding more flash chips, which adds to the fixed cost of the drive. "For example, if the spot price of the flash chip itself is $2, a 64GB drive is going to cost $128 just for the flash and then you would add the fixed cost of the PCB an the case," Beard said.
According to Beard, the sweet spot for for SSDs this year will be 64GB moving to 128GB on the business side, and 128GB moving to 256GB on the consumer end.
Move over Western Digital and make room for Samsung with its new EcoGreen F2EG hard drive. At 1.5TB, Samsung's environmentally conscious hard drive offers high capacity while cutting back on power consumption by almost half over "competitive drives."
"Lower platter count means less power to start the motor, less power to continuously spin the motor and a lighter head-stack which takes less power to seek," said Andy Higginbotham, director of HDD sales and marketing for the Samsung Semiconductor Storage Division. “With fewer heads and disks, the F2EG hard drive has a lower probability of head-disk failures, enabling customers to build more reliable systems."
The EcoGreen F2EG hard drive serves up 500GB on each of its 3 platters. Combined with the company's EcoTriangle "low-power, low-heat, low-noise operating technology," Samsung says the F2EG reduces power consumption by 40 percent in idle mode and 45 percent in reading/writing mode.
In addition to 1.5TB, the EcoGreen series also comes in 500GB and 1TB capacities with both 16MB and 32MB cache.
The F2EG drives are shipping now to "major OEM businesses," with the 1.5TB version priced at $149 MSRP.
Less than a month after Fujitsu announced it would end production of read/write heads for hard drives, the company has sold off its HDD business to Toshiba. The two companies are aiming to have the transfer completed in the first quarter of 2009. Previously, Fujitsu was engaged in takeover talks with Western Digital, but the two couldn't agree on terms.
"Fujitsu will facilitate the transfer by bringing its HDD-related businesses and functions together in a new company," Fujitsu wrote in a press release. "Toshiba will acquire about an 80 percent stake in this company and make it a Toshiba Group subsidiary. In order to promote a smooth transfer, Fujitsu will continue to hold a stake of under 20 percent in the new company for a certain period of time, after which it will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba."
Toshiba, who is already a player in the 2.5-inch HDD market, looks to reinforce its position, while also moving in on the enterprise HDD market, an area Fujitsu has been very active. Toshiba is also looking at the solid-state drive (SSD) market, "fusing Toshiba's NAND flash memory technology with Fujitsu's enterprise HDD technology." Despite the heavy focus in the past several months, SSDs have been intentionally overlooked by Fujitsu, who has been turned off random write performance.
Toshiba said it will aim to raise its share in the overall HDD market to over 20 percent by 2015.
Seagate this week announced a new line of hard drives aimed at enterprise environments. Dubbed "Constellation," Seagate's new drives come in both 2.5- and 3.5-inch form factors and boast both high capacities and power efficiency.
The 2.5-inch Constellation model comes in 160GB and 500GB capacities offering both 3Gb/s SATA and SAS 2.0 interface (6Gb/s). Seagate says that by utilizing the new SAS protocol, the Constellation hard drives make possible larger external storage topologies, twice the data throughput, and a higher signal strength over longer distances. Dell has already jumped on board as one of the first OEMs planning to offer the Constellation series.
Of more interest to desktop users, the 3.5-inch Constellation ES model comes in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities, the latter of which currently ranks as the highest capacity hard drive available (Western Digital also recently released a 2TB drive in Australia).
The 2.5-inch Constellation will begin shipping this quarter, with the 3.5-inch Constellation expected to ship in Q3.