WD intros quiet 7,200-RPM mobile hard drives

Everyone may be looking up to solid-state drives for the next step up in mobile storage performance. Still, even SSDs can't beat 320GB of 2.5", 7,200-RPM mechanical storage for $249. That's essentially what Western Digital is offering with its new Scorpio Black notebook hard drives, which combine meaty storage capacities, high performance, and relatively low noise levels—among other features.

The Scorpio Black lineup includes 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 250GB, and 320GB models, all featuring 7,200-RPM spindle speeds, 16MB caches, and 300MB/s Serial ATA interfaces. WD claims the drives only generate 22dBA of noise at idle and 25dBA under load, thanks in large part to its IntelliSeek technology. IntelliSeek's "calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise and vibration," WD claims, adding that the Scorpio Black is "one of the quietest 2.5-inch drives on the market."

WD has packed some extra goodies into its new drives, including an optional free-fall sensor that can park recording heads in "less than 200 milliseconds" to prevent platter damage. The company says Scorpio Black drives will be available in pre-built machines and retail stores at "up to $249."

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