Toshiba recently released two SSHD (Solid-State Hybrid Drive) drives to rival the Seagate SSHD that arrived on the market a few months ago (four capacities ranging from 320GB, 500GB, 700GB, and 1TB). The Toshiba SSHDs are significantly more expensive, but offer better overall performance. While maybe not better than the Seagate SSHD, Toshiba's SSHD options are a good alternative to a SSD drive.
The Two Toshiba SSHD Drives
Toshiba splits the two SSHD drives into two categories: the Laptop Thin SSHD and the Laptop SSHD. Each drive has a different thickness with the Laptop Thin measuring 7mm and the Laptop SSHD measuring 9.5mm. These measurements don't drastically change the performance of the two SSHD drives, though.
Both drives will work in desktops and basic laptops, and some ultrabooks will also work with these two drives. Toshiba's drives also come with 32MB of cache memory, 8GB of NAND flash memory, and spin at 5,400rpm. All of that's not too shabby, and it's packed into two nicely formed packages.
SSHD Drive Purpose
The Toshiba drives are meant to be used as an operating system's main storage drive (Windows, Mac, and Linux OSes supported). When used in this manner, the Toshiba SSHD options operate along the same boot time lines and application performance as an SSD drive, and that's something to keep in mind if you are seeking an alternative to a SSD.
The Toshiba drives also mimic what Seagate offers when it comes to an algorithm that swaps data between the spinning portion of the drive and the SSD part of the drive. But, you don't need to worry about the integrated algorithm too much, since it doesn't actually impact the operating system (no additional software to install).
The Toshiba SSHDs act just like a hard drive, and less like a SSD drive. But, for the price, that 8GB of solid-state storage isn't a bad deal. These drives will make your computer a lot faster, noticeably faster, and that's why they are so great. Don't buy this SSHD for the copy time, though, because that will stay roughly the same as a regular drive. Buy it, instead, for faster boot times and as an alternative to a SSD.
Should you buy this SSHD? If you want a computer that wakes up quicker and boost faster (give it three tries), it's a great option. What will you pay to get this option? Here's the part of the Toshiba SSHD that I really don't like. Pricing ranges from $159 (500GB) to $199 (1TB). Those are some steep prices for a SSHD drive (and they are more expensive than the drive that Seagate offers). So, keep the pricing in mind here if you are considering this SSHD drive from Toshiba.
How Does It Stack Up?
The Toshiba SSHD drives do perform well, will provide a noticeable difference, and are a great alternative to a regular hard drive. Is the Toshiba SSHD the best option on the market? Maybe not. Those prices are on the high side, so my recommendation is to check out with Seagate offers too.