Toshiba Intros 500GB Green 2.5" HDD

Toshiba has announced a new series of 2.5-inch hard disk drives that offer capacities up to 500 GB, increased durability, reduced noise and a lower power consumption.

While there is a lot to like about SSDs, such as their durability, good performance and potentially low power consumption, getting a SSD currently can still be pretty expensive. As many of us wait for SSDs to become more affordable, traditional hard drives remain the mainstay for many notebooks users, especially for those with large storage needs.

Toshiba claims the noise reduction and increased durability of these new 2.5 inch drives is, in part, due to the use of advanced servo techniques and mechanical design enhancements. Noise levels are rated at 25 dB during both seek and idle modes for the 320 GB, 400 GB and 500 GB drives. The smaller 250 GB, 160 GB and 120 GB drives have a noise level of 19 db and 20 dB for idle and seek mode, respectively. For added shock protection, the new drives also offer free-fall sensor options that can protect the drives from accidental drops.

Performance-wise, the new drives offer average seek times of 12 ms, have an 8 MB buffer memory, use the SATA 3.0 Gb/s interface and spin at 5,400 RPM. While the performance of these drives may not compare to that of 7,200 RPM drives, or for that matter modern SSDs, they use only a modest 1.4-watts of power in read/write mode and just 1.7-watts in seek mode.

Compared to Toshiba’s current 400 GB hard drive, the new Toshiba hard drives use 0.5-watt less power, which could make them a great choice if you are trying to increase your notebook’s battery life. For added comparison, Western Digital offers a similarly spec’d 500 GB drive, the WD5000BEVT, which has a power dissipation of 2.5-watts during read and write modes.

The new 500 GB hard drive from Toshiba has the model name MK5055GSX, with the smaller capacities following the same MK-55GSX nomenclature. Expect to see more about these drives later on in January at CES 2009, with the drives shipping in production volumes to OEMs and distributors in December 2008.