Western Digital informed us this morning that it had begun shipping 2.5" mobile hard drives with capacities of 1TB and 750GB, which is an industry first. The Scorpio Blue 1TB hard drive sports an impressive three 333GB platters spinning at 5,200 RPM. Each drive comes with 8MB of cache and a 3Gb/s Serial ATA interface. WD claims acoustic levels of 24-26 dB(A) depending on idle and load conditions. Power consumption numbers are at SSD levels with quoted figures of 0.10W at idle and 2.5W during normal read/write operation.

The one drawback for either drive is that both utilize the 12.5mm form factor instead of the de facto standard 9.5mm. This means the drives are ideally suited for external storage solutions, larger DTR notebook designs, or small form factor desktop systems. However, your mileage will vary depending on the design of your notebook.

The Scorpio Blue 750GB (WD7500KEVT) is "available now through select distributors/resellers" with an MSRP of $189.99. The 1TB Scorpio Blue (WD10TEVT) is also available today, but configured into the My Passport Essential SE Portable USB drive product series. It will be shipping to the retail channel in the near future with an estimated MSRP of $249.99. Each drive carries a limited three-year warranty. We have review samples on the way and will look at their performance in an external enclosure and SFF setup shortly.

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  • MadBoris - Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - link

    333GB platters spinning at 5,200 RPM ?

    Wow, that's alot of storage going no where fast.
    All that extra areal density with lack of spindle speed to really take full advantage.

    I'm sure to those in need of storage on a laptop this may be impressive, but I'm completely unimpressed by a laptop drive at 5200 RPM. Match it with 7200 RPM, then you'd have a screamer.

    While I'm sure their are technical hurdles that keep these mechanical drives so slow, next year SSD's should easily destroy these drives while still on the market in both storage and speed.
  • varase - Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - link

    Well, with a 12ms seek and 5200 rpm it probably puts a fair number of bytes under the heads at any one time - the only problem is average rotational latency goes up. The number of bytes in a cylinder are probably fairly impressive.

    Not sure I trust SSDs - each cell WILL fail at some finite number of state changes, and I'm not sure how much 1TB of SSD will run.
  • PenguinTrail - Tuesday, August 4, 2009 - link

    The 320/333GB platters in a notebook drive are much smaller than the platters in a desktop drive = high areal density = higher performance.

    I recently did an extensive test (http://blog.penguintrail.com/?p=257)">http://blog.penguintrail.com/?p=257) of Seagate's unannouced 640GB 2.5" drive (it's 9.5mm so this one will actually fit in your notebook). In terms of raw throughput, the drive is as fast or faster than a 7200rpm 2.5" drive based on my testing. The density makes that possible, even though there is a slower spindle speed. The tradeoff is access time, but if you want capacity on the go then buying a high density drive like the Seagate or WD is the best way to go. Otherwise, skip the 7200rpm drive and get an SSD
  • mschira - Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - link

    They are just the first 12mm drives that make big headlines.
    Considering, that I think it's a bit of a letdown that 17" Notebooks don't have the space for them. Not sure about Small form factor desktops. I think a desktop casing that doesn't have the space for a 12cm drive is a major design failure.

    Yes, and of course we need dedicated desktop versions of these 2.5" behemoths! Faster spindle speed, so we get maximum performance. A RAID 5 with 4 of the beasts would be a nice thing.
    The power and heat should still be much smaller than a 3.5" brick.

    As to portable notebooks they should just move to 1.8" and take SSD. I would be happy with fast 64Gb. If you are desperate for space an external 1TB should fit the bill without wasting too much of the convenience you gained from the lighter notebook thanks to SSD. Of course different people may want different solutions (i.e the good old internal fairly spacious HDD). But for most folks that want a portable computer...
  • tbogstad - Monday, July 27, 2009 - link

    It would be nice for that purpose too.
  • MODEL3 - Monday, July 27, 2009 - link

    Seems that the R&D for the next version of raptor is going well
  • RocketChild - Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - link

    With the lowered cost of Intel's latest SSD, a new breed of Raptor better be pretty cheap.
  • dragunover - Monday, July 27, 2009 - link

    Servers would be the ideal spot for these kinds of drive in the first place. Maybe not cost efficient but size and energy efficient.
    I don't think many people need 1tb in their laptops unless it costs like 4,000 USD and is a mobile workstation.
  • dilidolo - Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - link

    Seagate has many 2.5' enterprise offers although only maxed at 500GB. I doubt WD enven has a chance to step in. Actually I've almost never seen any WD disks in enterprise storage.
  • Etern205 - Thursday, July 30, 2009 - link

    WD's version of enteriprise storage is the Raptor.
    Compared to Seagate's Cheetah SAS 15K.x it's no where near it
    in terms of performance.
    Seagate Cheetah SAS > WD Raptor

    If it was SSD then it's

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