Toshiba pushes 1.8-inch HDDs to 5,200rpm

Faster drives and more capacity likely for MacBook Air

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Toshiba's latest tiny hard drives, that should be available in April, look like bringing both speed and a dose of competition to the market for storage in ultra-portables like the MacBook Air.

The 1.8-inch SATA drives will be available with either 80GB or 120GB of storage and will join the market-leading 160GB model from Samsung. Both firms currently supply 1.8-inch drives to Apple for the iPod classic, while the Air's 80GB drive appears to be a Samsung-only affair so far.

Those models all run at a relatively slow 4,200rpm, so the 5,400rpm offered by the new Toshiba drives should see Apple quietly upgrade its line-up sometime later this year.

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