Notebook HDDs Deluxe: 160 GB by Fujitsu, Seagate, Toshiba


All three drives provide excellent performance, beating their predecessors and competitors in most benchmark categories. They all offer 160 GB capacity, 8 MB cache and a modern Serial ATA interface. Toshiba has to work on its energy consumption, while Fujitsu could improve access time with the next product generation, but both are solid products that can absolutely be recommended for upper mainstream notebooks with high capacity demands.

However, both products fade in the light of Seagate's new Momentus 7200.2. Although it is a different hard drive category - 7,200 vs. 5,400 RPM - the Seagate dominates with impressive superiority. The Momentus 7200.2 is the undisputed performance winner with a 14.2 ms access time vs. 17 ms; 60 MB/s transfer rates vs. 48 MB/s; and the pole position in our application and I/O benchmarks. And it doesn't even require much more power than an average 5,400 RPM drive.

In addition, the 7200.2 comes with Seagate's new free fall sensor called G-Force Protection, it offers a wider operating temperature range, and comes with a comforting five year manufacturer's warranty. The 7200.2 also is one of the most expensive notebook hard drives, at $240. In contrast, we found the Fujitsu drive for as little as $140, and Toshiba's 160 GB product is available for only $120. Seagate wins, but it makes its product hardly affordable, which I guess makes the decision a bit more difficult.

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