Perhaps the most interesting thing about the MK7559GSXP is the technologies Toshiba has used in the platter (disc) design. While many people see SSD's as the future, traditional hard disk companies haven't been hiding their collective heads in the sand, but rather have been looking at ways of increasing capacity in the traditional formats by introducing new disc technologies.

In the MK7559GSXP Toshiba uses something called Advanced Sector Formatting (ASF). Traditionally, hard drives have used the legacy 512 byte per sector format which uses Sync/DAM (lead in) blocks, Error Correcting Code (ECC) blocks and also more importantly leaves gaps between sectors which wastes storage capacity.

ASF is a technology that uses 4K bytes per sector and removes the Sync/DAM blocks and closes the gaps between sectors. The larger sector size also brings improved ECC, leading to better formatting efficiency and data integrity. The closing of the gaps also allows for increased areal density which is the key in getter larger capacities per platter (disc).

Toshiba are not alone in using ASF, but with an areal density of 541.4G bit/in^2 (which Toshiba claim is the industry's highest) it's the reason they only needed two platters to give the MK7559GSXP its impressive storage capacity.

Unfortunately Toshiba has matched all the good stuff with a relatively slow spindle speed, 5,400rpm and a small buffer with 8MB cache. Still, that's pretty standard for a standard notebook drive but it would have been nice to see them push the envelope a little more.

The MK7559GSXP is also pretty quiet in operation thanks to Toshiba's Silent Seek technology which aims to make every seek operation as quiet as the drive is when in idle mode.

We liked

Huge capacity combined, with a seriously low price tag, makes the MK7559GSXP almost a no brainer for anyone that uses a multimedia notebook to download normal and HD content. It will also appeal to mobile workstation uses that need capacity over performance.

We disliked

A conventional hard drive is never going to be as fast as a SSD but it would have been good to see Toshiba raise the anti in the standard disk market by giving the MK7559GSXP a faster 7,200rpm spindle speed.

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