HolidayBuyer's Guide

Toshiba to ship 640GB laptop and portable drives

Toshiba announces new 2.5-inch hard drive that spins at 5400rpm and offers up to 640GB of storage.

Awhile ago Western Digital released its top-capacity laptop hard drive, the Scorpio Blue, which is the first 2.5-inch hard drive to offer 1TB of storage. On Tuesday, Toshiba announced its own largest laptop hard drive to date, the MKxx65GSX, which caps at 640GB.

One of Toshiba's new portable hard drives.Photo by CNET

Though smaller in capacity, the new Toshiba hard drive has two advantages over the WD Scorpio Blue. First, it spins at 5400rpm as opposed to the 5200rpm of the WD, meaning it potentially has a faster throughput speed.

The new Toshiba drive also comes in the regular 9.5mm thickness and therefore will work in all applications where SATA 2.5-inch hard drives currently are used. The Scorpio Blue is 12.5mm thick and therefore only fits in laptops with a larger hard drive bay.

The new hard drive is built based on Toshiba's new 320GB-per-platter design which, according to the company, reduces power consumption and heat dissipation by more than 80 percent compared with 3.5-inch hard drives of the same capacity. This helps save energy and prolong the life span of the drive.

The MKxx65GSX drive comes in 640GB, 500GB, 320GB, 250GB, and 160GB models. All sport a free-fall sensor option to help protect the drive in case of accidental drops.

In addition to the new internal hard drive, Toshiba announced its new portable hard drive based on the new capacity. It's available for both Macs and PCs.

These are pocket-size, USB bus-powered external hard drives that weigh merely 6 ounces and feature a slim design with technologies that protect the drive from shocks and help anchor the device in place. The drives come in four colors: blue, white, red, and green.

The new MKxx65GSX internal hard drive will be available for purchase in the fourth quarter of the year. It's unclear how much it will cost. The new Toshiba portable hard drives are available now, however, with the 640GB version costing $180.