Sure, all the cool kids are putting solid-state drives in their laptops. That doesn’t change the fact that, right now, mechanical drives still offer unbeatable amounts of capacity per dollar. Just look at Samsung’s latest Spinpoint M8 2.5" hard drive, which crams 1TB inside a standard 9.5-mm form factor using a pair of ultra-dense 500GB platters.
According to Samsung, the Spinpoint M8 is already in mass production and carries an asking price of just $129. The drive uses Advanced Format Technology to achieve its high capacity, and Samsung outfits it with a 3Gbps Serial ATA interface. I don’t see other specifications in the press release, but considering the 750GB version of the Spinpoint M8 has a 5,400-RPM spindle speed, I’m guessing the 1TB variant’s platters spin no faster than that.
A $129 launch price doesn’t sound unreasonable compared to low-speed, 1TB mobile drives with thicker-than-normal enclosures. Those seem to retail in the $80-110 range at Newegg right now, but they won’t fit in your typical laptop. Folks who want the absolute best performance may be better served spending that kind of dough on a 64GB solid-state drive, but 64GB can be awfully limiting when you’re on the go.