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So, we have gathered together seven hard disk drives of the “notebook” form-factor from four manufacturers to check out the alignment of forces in the market after the arrival of the Momentus series from Seagate. The new drive from Seagate is really a praiseworthy product.

All the marketing talk by Seagate we heard at the announcement of the drive turned to be true. The Seagate Momentus ST94811A with 40GB capacity and an 8MB buffer went with waving banners through the performance tests, showing both: stable and high results. It is overall faster than other drives we included into this roundup. The power consumption test named Seagate Momentus ST94811A the winner, too. The notebook with this drive worked longer than with other drives. So, we can confirm with all certainty the manufacturer’s words about the Momentus being as power-saving as 4,200rpm devices.

On the whole, the market of 2.5” hard disk drives has received a significant boost. Sharper competition will surely have a positive effect for the end-user. The companies will have to put more effort into making their products better, to the mark set by the Momentus. Moreover, we can expect the price for notebook drives to go down, even though they enjoy a constantly growing demand. The only peculiarity of the Momentus you should pay attention to is its construction: the upper part of the case hangs above the interface connector. This may prevent plugging it into some notebooks via the adapter.

What should we expect from Seagate next? The 2.5” HDD series from this company will surely offer models of higher storage capacities and spindle rotation speeds (up to 7,200rpm). Competitor companies already offer such products.

After determining the winner of this competition, let us turn to other participators. The GAX family from Toshiba deserves your attention, too, for their 5,400rpm spindle rotation speed and 16MB cache-buffer. Hitachi Travelstar 80GN (IC25N080ATMR04) with its 8MB buffer and 4,200rpm speed is a good product, too. Although it has a slower speed and a smaller cache-buffer than the above-mentioned devices, it did quite well throughout the tests.

The GAS family from Toshiba and Fujitsu MHS2060AT were on the losing side from the start because of their 4,200rpm speed and small cache-buffer (2MB).

So, we congratulate Seagate with a successful product and look forward to other models. As soon as we have more 2.5” drives in our hands, we will perform our comparison once again.

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