WD’s Black² combines an SSD with a hard disk, costs S$459

November 30th, 2013 | by Alfred Siew
WD’s Black² combines an SSD with a hard disk, costs S$459

WD Black2_back_standing WD Black2_front_standing

Want the speed of a solid state drive (SSD) but the huge capacity provided by a hard disk? There’s an interesting two-in-one option now from Western Digital.

The WD Black² comes with both a 120GB SSD and a 1TB hard disk packed into a 2.5-inch design that is commonly used for laptops and increasingly, desktops as well. Yes, you read it right, there are two separate drives in there.

This is different from previous hybrid drives that are really hard disks that shoulder a small amount of flash memory to make them boot up a PC like a zippy SSD.

What’s the point of having two drives in one, like in the WD Black²? For one, it saves space, especially in thin laptops. If you’re upgrading an old hard disk in your laptop, the WD Black² could be handy in offering both the speed and capacity without installing both an SSD and a hard disk.

For small form factor desktop PCs, the WD Black² is interesting as well. This enables it to be installed on enclosures, such as Intel’s NUC (Next Unit of Computing) machines that offer very little space for internal drives.

With the WD Black², you can get both the capacity and speed in there, making small machines much more powerful, without having to dangle an external hard disk.

Your programs could be installed on the SSD and fire up quickly, while your movies and pictures can go into the hard disk, where there is more space.

Out in Singapore now, the WD Black² costs a cool S$459. For comparison, you can buy a separate 120GB SSD at about S$140 and a 1TB laptop hard disk at about S$100, for a total of just S$240.

For paying that much for what is claimed to be the world’s first such two-in-one drive, you do get a five-year warranty from the manufacturer.

The WD Black² is not for everyone, of course. If most of your stuff is stored online or in a home network drive, then your PC really doesn’t need all that much capacity – a single SSD would do just fine.

Still, it’s nice to see hard disk makers innovating, as more users move to SSDs. When you saw Western Digital come up with an ultra-slim 5mm drive earlier this year, you knew there was a chance it would integrate both an SSD and hard disk.


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