Western Digital releases 1TB laptop hard drive

The company's new hardware offers 750GB and 1TB of storage, significantly shrinking the capacity gap between notebook and desktop drives.

Dong Ngo SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews
CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
2 min read

The storage-capacity gap between laptop and desktop hard drives just shrank significantly.

Western Digital announced Monday two laptop drives that offer "extreme" amounts of storage: the Scorpio Blue 1TB and the Scorpio Blue 750GB. Prior to this announcement, the largest laptop hard drive available was 500GB.

Scorpio Blue Western Digital

Currently, the largest desktop hard drive on the market is 2TB. The Scorpio Blue 1TB drive, though half the capacity, is still very impressive, considering the fact that a 2.5-inch laptop drive is much smaller than a 3.5-inch desktop drive. The new WD laptop drives are the first that use 333GB per platter technology.

The Scorpio Blue hard drives support the SATA2 (3Gbps) standard but have a thickness of 12.5 millimeters, as opposed to 9.5 millimeters in other 2.5-inch drives. This means the new drives will not fit in all 2.5-inch slots in laptops.

For this reason, WD designates them as a perfect fit for portable storage solutions and they'll be in WD's new My Passport Essential SE Portable USB drive.

Other than capacity, the new Scorpio Blue drives also feature a set of advanced storage technologies, including:

  • WhisperDrive, which is WD's technology that uses seeking algorithms to produce one of the quietest 2.5-inch drives available
  • ShockGuard, which helps the drive withstanding shock, such as accidental drops, and vibrations better
  • SecurePark, which is a mechanism that parks the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up and spin down and when the drive is off. This ensures that the recording head never touches the disk surface to improve long-term reliability

Both new drives come with 8MB of buffer memory and spin at 5,200rpm, which is slightly slower than the 5400rpm speed of mainstream laptop drives.

The Scorpio Blue 750GB drive (model WD7500KEVT) is available now and costs $190. The 1TB version (model WD10TEVT) is, for now, only available configured into the My Passport Essential SE USB drive, but it will be available as an internal hard drive in a few weeks. It will cost $250.