Two weeks after releasing the largest capacity 1.8-inch hard drive, Toshiba announced on Thursday its MKxx29GSG series of this small form factor storage device that's finally catching up with the regular 2.5-inch laptop hard drives in terms of speed and storage space.
For a long time, 1.8-inch hard drives' performance was limited to 4,200rpm and the old-school ATA interface, making them significantly slower than the currently popular 2.5-inch hard drives that spin at 5,400rpm (or even faster at 7,200rpm) and use the SATA standard. That discrimination has ended now with Toshiba's third-generation 5,400rpm SATA 1.8 hard-drive family. The new drive features 120GB and 160GB capacities and can take advantage of the SATA-II controller standard, of which the transfer rate reaches up to 3 gigabits per second.
Other than improved performance, the new MKxx29GSG series also comes with a freefall sensor option, which enhances protection from external shock and vibration. It also offers more quiet and more energy-efficient operation. PC vendors can now make ultraportable laptops without having to compromise much of their performance, battery life, and functionality.
Toshiba's new family of 1.8-inch hard drives will be available to PC manufacturers and distribution partners in December. Right now, it's unclear how much they will cost.