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WD ships first 750GB standard-height laptop hard drive

Western Digital ships the first standard-height laptop hard drive that offers 750GB of storage.

There have been 2.5-inch 1TB laptop hard drives on the market for a while, but most, if not all, have a thickness of 12.5 millimeters. In the realm of the standard-height 9.5-millimeter laptop hard drives, Western Digital on Tuesday shipped what may be the very first that offers 750GB of storage, the WD Scorpio Blue.

The WD Scorpio Blue uses the new WD Advanced Format technology(PDF), similar to the technology that Toshiba uses for its MK7559GSXP drive. It's slated to ship during the third quarter of the year.

According to WD, Advanced Format drives are designed for Macs and the latest Windows operating systems, including Windows Vista and Windows 7 with a clean install. It allows for formatting the drive using a new sector size of 4,096 bytes instead of the traditional 512 bytes, therefore reducing the amount of space being "wasted." Advanced Format Technology has been adopted by WD and other drive manufacturers to increase media format efficiency, thus enabling larger drive capacities.

The new WD Scorpio Blue laptop hard drive from Western Digital. Western Digital

Other than that, the features of the new WD Scorpio Blue include:

  • WhisperDrive, which is WD's exclusive technology that combines advanced seeking algorithms to make the drive one of the quietest 2.5-inch hard drives on the market. These algorithms also optimize the way a drive seeks data, which improves power consumption.

  • ShockGuard, which protects the drive's mechanics and platter surfaces from shocks.

  • SecurePark, which parks the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up, spin down, and when the drive is off. This ensures the recording head never touches the disk surface, resulting in improved long-term reliability because of less head wear and improved nonoperational shock tolerance.

The new drive uses the standard SATA 3GBps interface and fits in any current laptop computers. The company says the new drive will work on any system.

The new WD Scorpio Blue 750GB (model WD7500BPVT) hard drive is available now and the price is $149. A 1TB version of the drive will be released sometime in the future.