Storage has been a weak point on portable machines for some time now, adding to the frustration of many notebook aficionados who would love to store large media collections without having to carry around an external hard drive. Storage capacity is growing rapidly, though. Late last year, Fujitsu announced it would soon have a 300GB 2.5-inch mobile hard drive. Now, Toshiba has one-upped them with a 320GB 2.5-inch hard drive for notebooks.

The new drives will feature capacities ranging from 80GB to 320GB, and will tap both Toshiba's 120GB-per-platter and 160GB-per-platter designs. The drives use the serial ATA interface, and spin at the standard laptop speed of 5400rpm.

For performance notebooks, Toshiba has also introduced a series of speedy 7200rpm drives available as 80GB, 120GB, 160GB and 200GB models with a 16MB buffer for faster access speeds. The company claims transfer rates of 895.9 Mb/s and an average seek time of 12ms. To deal with battery life issues on notebooks, the drives integrate power saving technologies that decrease the power consumption of the drives to between 0.9 and 2.3 watts, according to Toshiba.

All hard drives announced by Toshiba today are expected to be shipping in the fourth quarter, with an external version of the 320GB drive due out by the first quarter of 2008. Pricing has not been announced.