After 7-Year Hiatus, Western Digital Unveils 6TB 2.5-Inch Hard Drives

From ExtremeTech: It's been a while since the tech world heard about a brand-new 2.5-inch hard drive. The technology seemed to peter out at 5TB long ago, while the rise of SSDs made 2.5-inch hard drives a dead-end technology. That is apparently not the case, however, as Western Digital has unveiled a new batch of 6TB portable hard drives, which offer the highest capacity available in a portable storage device.

Western Digital's new 6TB 2.5-inch hard drive is being deployed across several of its product lines, spanning its own products and SanDisk drives, which it also owns. The new drive is now available in the company's MyPassport line, WD Black P10 Game Drive, and the SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE ArmorATD drives. What's especially notable about the 6TB version is that it's a bit taller than the 5TB drive, according to AnandTech. This likely means the company stuffed another platter into the drive instead of increasing the areal density of its existing platters.

If that's the case, the drive will never appear in a laptop due to its height; instead, it's destined for a life of service as an external drive only. That's likely not much of an issue, though, as nobody is using 2.5-inch drives in laptops anymore. AnandTech also notes the drive's read speed is listed as 130MB/s, while its write speed is not mentioned. This could indicate the company is using shingled magnetic recording technology (SMR), which the tech community has shunned due to its potential for extremely slow write speeds—as low as 10MB/s when data has to be rewritten.

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