Toshiba Launches 7mm Thick SSHD, Igniting a New Level of Competition


Toshiba’s new launch 7 mm thick hard drive, the new member in MQ01ABFH series of SSHDs, is designed to target specifically ultra-thin notebooks. A while ago, Seagate introduced a 5mm hard drive that uses a single platter of 500 GB. The new Toshiba drive has two 500 GB platters to achieve one TB capacity while the previous 1 TB drives required 9.5 mm form factor and three platters to achieve the target level. Moreover, the drive requires 2.5 inch form factor and spins at 5,400RPM.

The First Thinnest Drive by Toshiba

As per the firm, the drive is designed to accelerate enhanced performance and improved response time in slim notebook computers and is available in 320 and 500 GB configurations. Since Toshiba has not been in SSHD market for a long time, this is the first 7mm member launched by the company. As all Toshiba SSHDs deliver great performance for gaming and multimedia applications, the new SSHD optimizes the performance by using self-learning and caching algorithms based on users’ access patterns. With physical measures, 9.5 mm and 7 mm z-Heights, the drive is good to fit in ultra-thin notebook PCs.

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The SSHD offers the performance much like SSDs without any dependency on external drivers and without any help from host. According to the PCMark Vantage Average HDD score, which is a method that measures read & write performance and responsiveness of SSHD, MQ01ABF500H is approx. 20,000, against the score of 5,000 for standard HDDs.

Advanced Format

This SSHD is an Advanced Format (AF) hard drive that supports 512 emulation (512e). AF 512e hard drives have the benefit of superior performance than the old 512 byte per sector drive models. You need to configure these drives with the host file system. Another advantage that Toshiba offers with the drive is its unique Partition Alignment Tool. The need for such a tool arises when you require running operating systems that are compatible with the legacy 512 byte sector disk drives. To resolve this, the AF 512e drives convert 512 byte data blocks from the host and write them on 4K block on the AF 512e drive. The partition Management Tool makes sure a proper boundary alignment exists between logical 512 byte data and the physical 4K sectors. If there is no such alignment, 512 emulation will take more time.

Low Noise

Toshiba has introduced a new advanced ‘Silent Sleek’ technology in the drive making its operation almost indistinguishable to the human ear. The drive has acoustic specifications using which it is able to generate minimal noise output. This is a requirement for some applications that need minimum output noise levels.

Technical Specs:

Form Factor – 2.5 inch

Platters – 1

SATA (Host) – max. 6.0 Gbit/s

Buffer Size – 32 MB

NAND Flash Size – 8 GByte

Rotational Speed – 5,400 RPM

Formatted Capacity – 320 GByte – 500 GByte

Average Seek Time – 12ms


Physical Specs:

Weight – 92 g

Width x Depth x Height – 69.85 x 100 x 7.0 mm

Mechanical Specs:

Width – 69.85 mm

Depth – 100 mm

Height – 7 mm

Weight – .090 kg


Operating (Maximum) – 400 G, with 2 ms half sine wave

Non- operating (Maximum) – 900 G, with 1 ms half sine wave

Power Supply:

Supply Voltage – +5 V (+/- 5 %)

Acoustic Noise:

Idle Mode (Disk Spinning) – Max. 19 dB

Random Seek – Max. 21 dB

How the 7mm SSHD Benefits End Users
  • Compact Structure: The compact size of this drive best fits the requirements of compact machines that are commonplace nowadays in the industry.
  • Faster and Easy Access to User Applications: Launching and working with user applications might be a cakewalk on this SSHD, as the drive features SATA interface (with max. 6.0 Gbit/s) and a comparatively bigger NAND cache.
  • Negligible Noise: The drive is committed to provide a silent operation, a benefit for those applications that require minimal noise output.
  • Faster System Boot Time: Apart from the read/write performance, it offers a light-fastening boot speed for a better startup experience.
  • Self-Learning Caching Algorithm: The ability to recognize user-access patterns and shift frequently accessed data to NAND cache is one of the major attractions of this 7mm sleek SSHD.

With the demand of advanced technology devices, manufacturers are jumping in to put efforts to meet user requirements. Western Digital has already introduced its 5mm WD Blue ultra-slim and the Black SSHD that is a solid-state hybrid drive. As stated by Western Digital, both the new models are reduced in weight by 30% in comparison to a 9.5mm hard disk drive. Afterwards lately in June, WD announced its thinnest drive of 7mm breadth with 1TB storage capacity.

What Toshiba Has to Say

Inked by the product marketing director at Toshiba’s Storage Products Business Unit, Don Jeanette, “the entire MQ01ABFH series focuses on fulfilling the requirements of users that include slim and light weight notebook computers empowered with fast performance and minimized response time while users are engaged with gaming and multimedia applications. The new member in the series reflects Toshiba’s continuous focus on developing quality storage devices and delivering them with various enhancements to provide a next level of computer experience to its users.

Putting a focus on competition, Western Digital is a giant in the entire IT industry, however, Toshiba has brought various improvements by benchmarking the performance of the drive against specific criterion. As WD and Seagate are already testing their swords in the battle, Toshiba is also expecting to be in the game with its new launch. Well, the results will be before everyone soon once the new Toshiba launch comes into focus.



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