WD has announced the ‘world’s first’ 'dual drive', which combines a solid state drive and hard disk drive in a standard 2.5-inch form factor.
The WD Black2 (‘Black squared’) contains both a 120GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, and is designed to provide the same functionality as two separate drives.
“Our customers told us they like our solid state hybrid drive technology, but our tech savvy users asked for more control of where they store their data,” said Matt Rutledge, senior vice president of WD’s Storage Technology business unit.
“The WD Black2 dual drive is a direct result of our interaction with our customer base through WD Labs initiatives. WD devised its beta labs program to provide an exclusive testing arena for key customers and technology influencers of existing and emerging WD storage products."
A representative for WD told PCR that the drive was aimed at “pro users”, who may be looking to upgrade their high-end laptops, small form factor desktops or other devices with limited space.
“It’s a large opportunity for the channel,” the representative stated, before adding that the dual drive’s release did not mean that WD was abandoning the hybrid drive market.
The Black2 connects through a single cable using the SATA 6Gb/s interface, with both drives appearing as separate devices within the computer’s operating system.
PCR was told that the drives operate independently, meaning that should one fail, the other should still be accessible.
The SSD also connects to the HDD to offload data usage, which WD claims will increase the lifespan and endurance of the SSD.
The Black2 will be sold as an upgrade kit, and will include a custom version of the Chronos data backup software, a legacy SATA connector and a cable to transfer data from an older drive to the new dual drive. The kit will also include a five-year warranty.
The WD Black2 is available now, with an MSRP of £249.99.