Toshiba unveils 7,200-RPM, 500GB laptop drive

We keep hearing about higher- and higher-capacity laptop hard drives, but offerings that balance high capacities and performance seem to make fewer headlines. That's too bad, because those products do exist. Toshiba, for instance, has announced a new 2.5" hard drive that stores half a terabyte on platters spinning at 7,200 RPM.

The new MKxx56GSY drive series is launching with 160GB, 250GB, 320GB, and 500GB capacities, the largest of which Toshiba achieved using a pair of 250GB platters. (The 160GB and 250GB drives both have only a single platter each.) Other noteworthy attributes include 16MB caches, 11-ms average seek times, and 300MB/s Serial ATA interfaces.

Toshiba says these drives offer "more than a 13 percent performance improvement in disk operations" compared to its previous-gen 7,200-RPM models. The firm also boasts about having curtailed its use of hazardous chemicals in hard-drive manufacturing since September 2008.

The MKxx56GSY have already begun shipping to PC manufacturers "in limited quantities," Toshiba adds, and they should hit volume production next quarter.

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