500GB Samsung laptop drive hits mass production

Samsung says its 500GB Spinpoint M6 notebook hard drive has entered mass production and is now shipping. The 500GB Spinpoint M6 is one of the first notebook drives with that capacity to conform to the "proper" 2.5-inch form factor, which mandates a 9.5-mm thickness. Other 500GB notebook drives are a little thicker and may have trouble fitting in your average laptop.

As we reported back in March, the 500GB Spinpoint M6 has three 167GB platters, a 5,400-RPM spindle speed, 8MB of cache, and a 300MB/s Serial ATA interface. Samsung still quotes a suggested retail price of $299, which is right up there with the priciest terabyte desktop hard drives and Western Digital's 10,000-RPM 300GB VelociRaptor.

Along with the Spinpoint M6, Samsung says it's also begun mass-producing the Spinpoint MP2: a 250GB laptop drive with a 7,200-RPM spindle speed, a 16MB buffer, and performance Samsung claims to be similar to that of 3.5" desktop hard drives. Samsung is pricing the 250GB Spinpoint MP2 at $199, and it also has variants with capacities as low as 80GB in the pipeline.

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