Flash based storage is starting to gain some ground on slim laptops like Apple's MacBook Air and Samsung's 9 Series, and we imagine it will get a significant boost if Intel's Ultrabook initiative takes off. Fortunately, those who are more concerned about storage capacity can still look forward to some progress in the HDD business.

Samsung today announced a new notebook hard drive capable of holding 1TB of data using a 500GB per platter design. The Spinpoint M8 is not the first 2.5-inch hard drive to hit the 1TB capacity mark, but what makes it noteworthy is the fact that its dual-platter design means the drive is just 9.5mm tall and can easily fit into laptop storage bays.

Earlier models, including Samsung’s previous 1TB Spinpoint MT2, required three separate platters to get the job done but the 12.5mm height made these drives incompatible for a drop-in upgrade on most notebooks.

The drive uses the SATA II 3Gbps interface, has a 8MB cache, operates at 5,400 rpm and features Samsung's EcoSeek and NoiseGuard technologies to improve efficiency and lower noise levels. Samsung says it's 7% faster than its predecessor and uses 8% less power. The Spinpoint M8 is currently in mass production and will be available for $129.

Meanwhile, on the desktop side of things Samsung has already reached 1TB per platter areal density. Back in March the company demonstrated a 3.5-inch two-terabyte, two-platter model during CeBIT that will launch as part of its Spinpoint EcoGreen series of drives featuring 5400RPM spindle speeds, 32MB of cache and SATA 6Gbps connectivity.