Toshiba has announced the industry's first 1.8" drives with low-insertion force (LIF) SATA connectors, enabling a 10 percent smaller footprint compared to standard 1.8" drives using microSATA connectors. Samples will be available for customer qualification next month.

The new MKxx39GSL series was developed for use in multiple devices, including tablets, consumer electronics devices, and as external HDDs. They are designed for the most demanding mobile computing applications, surpassing 2.5" HDDs in terms of vibration robustness, low power consumption, and quiet operation.

There are three models, pricing for which has not yet been announced: MK1639GSL (160GB), MK2039GSL (200GB), and MK2239GSL (220GB). The last one features the largest capacity 1.8" single-platter HDD (5mmH) available. All drives in the family feature a 16MB buffer for improved performance, and are capable of tolerating up to 1,500Gs of non-operational shock and 600Gs of operational shock, compared to 900G of non-operational shock and 400G of operational shock for the most robust 2.5-inch HDDs currently available. The drives are also exceptionally quiet, operating at 14dB at idle and 15dB at seek. They also require only 0.35 Watts of power at low power idle, the smallest power consumption levels for any SATA drive. All of this performance is delivered in a 5x54x71mm form factor, and weighing just 48g.

"These new drives build on Toshiba's history of innovation and leadership in the 1.8" drive segment," Maciek Brzeski, vice president of mobile marketing at Toshiba Storage Device Division, said in a statement. "Designers of next-generation consumer electronics, tablets, and mobile devices need disk drives that will stand up to the demands of day-to-day usage in a world increasingly defined by mobility and connectivity to all forms of content. These newest members of our 1.8" family are designed to meet those demands."