Laptop Storage: 640GB And 500GB Drives From WD And Fujitsu

Fujitsu/Toshiba MJA2500CH (500GB)

The Toshiba buyout announcement arrived in February, and the acquisition became effective just recently. Fujitsu still holds 19.9% of the former hard drive business throughout the transitional period, but Toshiba now controls the hard drive design, manufacturing, and sales divisions formerly operated by Fujitsu.

The goal was to obtain Fujitsu’s large business clientele, whose importance is growing given the transition from 3.5” to 2.5” formats. Toshiba did not have enterprise-class drives in its portfolio, but the company is strong in NAND flash, making it obvious that it needs a door opener for the enterprise market. Additionally, the 38.6 million 2.5” drives shipped by Fujitsu in 2008, combined with Toshiba’s 34.5 million shipped drives, makes Toshiba the #1 global supplier for 2.5” drives.

The Toshiba 2.5” hard drive index page lists all hard drives from Fujitsu and Toshiba. We found the MJA2500CH, which is no longer available through This drive is available at 80GB, 250GB, and 500GB capacities, and they all share the same basic specifications: 5,400 RPM, 8MB buffer, SATA/300, and 9.5 mm standard Z-height. The 500GB model is based on two platters and weighs in at 101g while the two other versions are based on a single platter and weigh 96g.

The Fujitsu drive’s 89 MB/s maximum throughput is best of class; the second-fastest is WD’s new 640GB Scorpio Blue. Unfortunately, access time isn’t really quick at 20 ms. Other 500GB notebook drives range around 16 to 19 ms. I/O results are similar, with the Fujitsu drive providing great throughput, but only average I/O and PCMark Vantage performance.

But the MJA2500CH has other good qualities. Its 0.7W idle power is as low as you can get today, and it never consumed more than 2.5W. The 0.9W required for HD video playback is excellent—right down there with Hitachi’s Travelstar 5K500.B and, ironically, the in-house competition from Toshiba.