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Life of computer users who need to store a lot of data on their laptop hard disk drives becomes much easier these days, because there appear a lot of 2.5-inch HDDs with the storage capacity of over 100GB. The new technologies, such as perpendicular recording, for instance, make the future look very optimistic from this standpoint and give us a lot of hopes for even greater storage capacities within a small mobile form-factor. As for today, we can state that all the largest HDD makers can already offer the users 100GB+ mobile HDD models.

The today’s test session where we investigated the performance of four new hard disk drives from Samsung and Western Digital gives us some food for new conclusions. HDDs with 120GB storage capacity are considerably faster than their 100GB fellows. It is actually quite logical, because the platter surface is used more efficiently in the former case. Even though Samsung HM120JC yielded to Western Digital WD1200VE in linear reading and writing tests performed on smaller data blocks, it still outperformed the opponent in most other cases. This hard drive made a very good impression overall and deserves a stable third place after the two newest Seagate solutions we have already reviewed before. It could be the efficient firmware of Samsung hard disk drives that helped in this case. All in all, I have all the evidence to say that Samsung has made quite a bit of a progress in 3.5-inch as well as 2.5-inch form-factor HDDs lately.

Western Digital WD1200VE HDD that followed closely behind Samsung HM120JC also performed very well today. If I ever end up choosing between these two HDD models, I would still prefer the Samsung drive thanks to its slightly higher performance and more competitive price. As for the two 100GB models of the two companies, their performance is much lower, so the only case when you would probably go for any of them is when you have very limited budget and cannot afford a more expensive 120GB hard drive. Here Samsung’s drive is also slightly faster and slightly less expensive than the alternative solution from Western Digital.

Summing up our roundup of the today’s highest-capacity 2.5-inch hard disk drives I have to repeat once again that at this time there is no alternative to Seagate ST9160821A, although nothing is eternal in this world and one day a worthy competitor should definitely appear.

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