It’s difficult squeezing more capacity into a laptop drive – the dimensions just aren’t on your side. Perpendicular recording will make a massive difference (once again, see the hilarious Hitachi cartoon explanation here), but until this technology is ready later in the year disk manufacturers continue to push more out of the current system: longitudinal recording.
The latest manufacturer to perform miracles is Seagate, which has unveiled its new line of Momentus drives. Headlining the announcement is a 120GB Momentus 5400.2 (above) that equals the current industry capacity record set by Fujitsu last month. Importantly, however, the drive has a faster spin speed of 5,400rpm, which gives it a significant edge over the 4,200rpm Fujitsu offering. It is also available with an SATA interface, which means it is potentially capable of 1.5Gbps transfers.
Next, performance junkies will be thrilled with the descriptively titled Momentus 7200.1 range which spin at 7,200rpm (below - yes the pictures are different!) and come in sizes up to 100GB. Personally speaking, this model is more important for me than the 5400.2 120GB, as 7,200rpm laptop drives are a little thin on the ground. In fact, even six months ago, if you wanted a 7,200rpm drive you couldn’t go any bigger than 60GB. Naturally, like the 5400.2s you can get it in SATA.
For the more budget orientated a Momentus 4200.2 also joins the party and tops out at the same size as the 5400.2s at 120GB, but it is limited to parallel (PATA) connectivity.
The clumsy among us will also be pleased to know that all these drives are pretty rugged having been built to withstand 900Gs of non operating shock and 250Gs when in motion. So while I don’t advise dropping them with force from a great height, normal bumbling stupidity should be safeguarded.
All three Momentus ranges will ship in June. The 120GB 4200.2 will set you back $265, the 100GB 7200.1 in PATA and SATA will cost $368 and $380 respectively and the 120GB 5400.2 goes for $289 for PATA and $308 for SATA. UK prices have yet to be released, but I, for one, am sorely tempted.