Mobile drives have taken another step towards catching up with their 3.5-inch bigger brothers today, as Samsung has announced that it's shipping its first 1TB 2.5-inch hard drive.
The new MT2 spreads the 1TB capacity over three 333GB platters, which it spins at 5,400rpm. In theory, this could make it slightly quicker than Western Digital's similar 1TB Scorpio Blue WD10TPVT, which spins at 5,200rpm. However, the quoted spin speed is a nominal measurement, so we'll reserve judgement until we see some independent benchmarks.
Spin-speed aside, Samsung reckons the M2 is going to be a nippy bit of machinery anyway. The company claims that it has specifically improved the suspension system for the platters, and further optimised the drive's design for improved reliability and performance.
According to Samsung, the MT2 not only read and writes around 20 per cent quicker than competitive drives (that'll be the aforementioned Western Digital device), but it also consumes four per cent less power.
However, it's worth bearing in mind that 2.5-inch hard drives already consume a miniscule amount of power compared to components such as CPUs and graphics chips, so a four per cent reduction isn't going to make a massive difference.
As with its previous drives, Samsung is also hoping to corner the market for drives that don't sound like a pebble trying to work its way out of a coffee grinder. The company says its proprietary SilentSeek and NoiseGuard technologies will "minimise noise levels during drive operation."
Although 2.5-inch hard drives are usually aimed at laptops, Samsung is marketing this 1TB device as an all-purpose block of storage. The company says it's ideal for use in an external USB caddy, as well as digital TVs, media centre systems and set-top boxes.
The MT2 features a standard 3Gb/sec SATA interface, and is available in 1TB and 750GB capacities. Samsung says the drive is shipping now, and although there's no information on pricing yet, it'll need to be priced at around £150 in order to keep up with the competition.