Seagate Ships World's Thinnest 2TB Laptop Drive

On Tuesday Seagate said that it's now shipping the industry's thinnest 2 TB hard drive for notebooks, the Spinpoint M9T, measuring just 9.5 mm thick. The drive is manufactured in China under the company's Samsung hard disk drive (HDD) division, reportedly sporting the highest platter density of any 2.5 inch hard drive to date, with 667 GB of capacity per platter.

"The M9T combines the highest areal density shipping in a single storage device with an innovative design that fits into mainstream notebook applications. While other 2TB solutions on the market are 15 mm thick, the vast majority of mobile devices are designed to use a 9.5 mm drive; with the M9T, those devices can now have 2TB of storage, enabling a richer computing experience," said Dave Frankovich, senior product line manager, Samsung HDD.

For the uninitiated, Seagate bought Samsung Electronics' hard drive business back in December 2011, gaining "select elements" including Samsung's M8 product line of high-capacity, 2.5-inch HDDs, the employees and infrastructure. At the time, N.Y. Park, senior vice president and general manager, would oversee Seagate's product development activities in Korea and serve as country manager of the Korea design center, reporting to Bob Whitmore, Seagate's executive vice president and CTO.

"Seagate is supplying disk drives to Samsung for PCs, notebooks and consumer electronics devices," Seagate's press release stated in 2011. "Samsung is supplying its market-leading semiconductor products for use in Seagate's enterprise solid state drives (SSDs), solid-state hybrid drives and other products. The companies have also extended and enhanced their existing patent cross-license agreement and have expanded cooperation to co-develop enterprise storage solutions."

Although there are 2 TB notebook drives already on the market, these measure either 12.5 mm or 15 mm in thickness. Frankovich told Computerworld that the industry has built three- and four-platter drives before, but typically a three-disk drive would be in a 12.5 mm thickness and a four-disk drive would be in a 15 mm thickness.

"So they kind of got relegated to external drives at that thickness. This is really the first time you're seeing this capacity in the mainstream 9 mm form factor," he said. Frankovich also added that Seagate was able to increase its platter areal density by creating a dual-stage actuator head. One head is used for read and writes, and the other is for keeping the actuator arm secure and in place.

The Spinpoint M9T will also arrive in a 1.5 TB flavor, and both will pack microactuation, a SATA 3 interface for speeds up to 6 Gbps, along with NoiseGuard and SilentSeek technologies to deliver ultra-quiet operation. The drives also use 2.3 watts of power during read/write operations, and 0.7 watts while idling.

The Spinpoint M9T hard drive is currently available in the Samsung Portable product line, which includes the M3 Portable and P3 Portable external drives, as well as with select partners. Pricing is not available, as this drive is sold directly to equipment manufacturers.

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  • jimmysmitty
    That's nice but I can't wait till SSDs catch up in size and price. Most laptops only have one HDD slot and a SSD is amazing for its speed and also low power use.
  • rwinches
    The M3 and P3 portables will offer these drives soon.
    Newegg list the 2TB as Out of Stock.

    When the M-P 3s are available then I can extract it and pop it into my Laptop
  • lp231
    Some laptop have 2 HDD slots, but it only has it, when it's customized with RAID drives.
  • xiinc37
    667GB per platter (4.9 square inches) is a higher density than the 1TB per platter (9.6 square inches) seen on new 3.5" drives. not counting for the motor of course, but I'm guessing the sizes of those are proportional.
  • Darkk
    It's amazing that these new drives only uses 2.3 watts during operation. Not too shabby for a mechanical drive.
  • danwat1234
    @xiinc37 yes historically 2.5" laptop platters are 1/2 the capacity of 3.5" platters, for instance 500GB instead of 1TB/platter. Having 667GB per platter is the first of it's kind.
    Impressive but wonder if it'll become a hybrid hard drive option sooner rather than later.
  • cats_Paw
    While this is indeed nice, Id love an improvment in laptop battery life.
    I got a gaming laptop and if unpluged from the socket wall, it changes automaticly to a non-gaming laptop, not to mention the battery is about 1 hour 30 minutes only.

  • JackFrost860
    thats amazing; but SSD's are the future.
  • JackFrost860
    and not SATA connected SSD's, but PCI Express SSD's. 800GB+ per second i've seen these operate in the wild. There is no going back to mechanical media.
  • JackFrost860
    sorry 800+ MB per second, not GB. My bad!