updated 07:35 am EDT, Thu July 9, 2009
Samsung Spinpoint N3U
Samsung on Thursday expanded what's possible with very small hard drives with an upgrade to the Spinpoint N line. The N3U first achieves a storage record with up to 250GB of space in a 1.8-inch disk, spreading the data across two platters. The capacity would give portable media players and netbooks the same capacity as a typical 2.5-inch notebook drive but in both a smaller form (smaller than a credit card) and while using 40 percent less power.
Also new is a switch away from a conventional hard drive interface: the N3U relies on USB and so can be used by companies as an external hard drive without adding a bridge. For internal drives, it's also said to be more reliable by reducing the likelihood that a cable might come loose.
All versions of the new Spinpoint turn at 3,600RPM and come with 8MB of cache, but the storage also comes in 120GB, 160GB and 200GB versions to reduce costs. Device makers start taking shipments within the week and should pay about $199 in raw costs for a 250GB drive.