By Evan Ackerman
This itty bitty drive by Toshiba, weighing in at 2 grams, can hold 8 gigs of you know what. So yeah, it’s the size of a postage stamp and the smallest magnetic platter hard drive in the world. But does it matter anymore?
Is it practical to keep miniaturizing what is becoming an obsolete technology in the face of flash drives, which are smaller, faster, more dependable, draw less power, and are (by now) just about as cheap for a few gigs? Well, those sweeping pros that you always hear about do come with a few cons: flash drives have a substantially slower write time, a lower reliable lifetime despite their lack of moving parts, and unlike magnetic platter drives, if your flash drive dies, odds are you aren’t gonna be getting any of your data back.
Consequently, you’re most likely to be seeing Toshiba’s 0.85 inch mini magnetic platter drive in devices that require a lot of write power, like digital video cameras. I’ll also be sticking with magnetic drives for a while yet due to their dependability… All the you know what on my hard drive is irreplaceable.