Samsung ships first hybrid hard drive

Seoul (Korea) - Samsung has begun shipping what the company claims is the first hybrid hard drive on the Market. The new MH80 series is making its way to "select OEM customers" and will be available in retail outlets soon, the manufacturer said.

The drive arrives about one month later than originally expected, but while it missed the buzz of the Windows Vista launch, Samsung kept its general promises to make the device available in the first quarter of this year.

The MH80 comes in three capacities, 80 GB, 120 GB and 160 GB, and includes 128 MB or 256 MB of Samsung's premium NAND flash memory dubbed OneNAND. According to the company, the drives are "optimized" to work with Windows Vista notebooks and offers in combination with Microsoft's ReadyDrive software faster boot and resume times, increased battery life and greater reliability compared to traditional magnetic media technology.

In numbers, Samsung up to a 50% reduction in boot and resume times from traditional magnetic media technology. Since the drive avoids many power-hungry spin-ups of the hard drive and relies on the flash memory to store and access frequently used files, the MH80 consumes "70-90% less power" than a traditional hard drive, Samsung said. In everyday use, these power savings should translate into 20 to 30 minutes of additional battery time, depending on the notebook.

Information about the price of the MH80 drives was not available at the time of this writing.