Samsung's new drives can give laptops 1TB of storage

The Spinpoint M6 drive has a 500GB capacity and fits into the chassis of most commercial notebooks, meaning that two drives combined can provide 1TB of storage

To meet the growing storage needs of laptop users, Samsung Electronics on Tuesday introduced a 500GB hard drive that could provide a notebook PC with as much as 1TB of storage.

The Spinpoint M6, a 2.5-inch hard drive, fits into the chassis of commercial and multimedia notebooks, said Andy Higginbotham, director of hard drive sales at Samsung Semiconductor. Two drives can be combined for 1TB of storage, he said.

The company was able to fit three 167GB platters in a small frame to achieve 500GB of storage in one drive, Higginbotham said. The hard drive spins at 5,400 RPM.

Priced at $299, the hard drive will ship to PC makers and retail stores later this month. A company spokeswoman declined to comment on which PC makers will be using the drive.

This is not the first attempt to put 1TB of storage in a laptop. At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, Asus announced the M70S laptop, which combined two 500GB drives from Hitachi.

Samsung also announced the Spinpoint MP2 hard drive, a 2.5-inch drive with 250GB of storage. Aimed at desktop replacement notebooks, workstations, and blade servers, it provides quicker read and write speeds than the M6. The hard drive spins at 7,200 RPM.

With the MP2, the company also provides an optional chip that protects a hard drive from vibrations caused by other hardware components.

The Spinpoint MP2 is priced at $299 and will be available through retailers. An 80GB version of the hard drive is also available, according to the company.

Both drives come with an optional free-fall sensor, which parks the head and turns the hard drive off in the event of a fall, protecting the data on it.

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