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4TB, Record for 2.5-Inch HDD by Samsung/Seagate

Available this month in external version only

Samsung HDD, a division of Seagate Technology plc, announced 4TB M3 Portable and the P3 Portable external HDDs, which are the first 4TB USB-powered single drive solutions to come in 2.5″ cases.

M3 Portable
Samsung, HDD,4TB M3

Previously only attainable in desktop or bulky multi-drive internal designs, we can now achieve a 4TB capacity in a compact drive thanks to the latest Samsung HDD technology,” said Dave Klenske, director of product line management, Samsung HDD. “By going to a single drive solution, we can power the drive through just a USB connection while fitting it into a case that is only a 1/10 of an inch thicker than our 2TB drive. They are the perfect lightweight drives for notebook computer owners who need to access media collections too large to fit on traditional internal storage options.

The 4TB Samsung M3 Portable and P3 Portable drives measure 0.78 inches thin and weigh 8.3 ounces and operate at USB 3.0 speeds without requiring any external power supplies.

The Spinpoint M10P 4TB HDD enables this innovation with the highest aerial density, 800GB per disk in the world,” said Doug DeHaan, GM, Samsung HDD division. “With consumer demand for external storage capacity continuing to grow, the P3 and M3 4TB answer the increasing appetite for storage and are positioned to lead future capacity needs from the mobile market.”

The Samsung 4TB M3 and MP Portable HDDs will be available in late June through authorized distributors.


Now that's the rule with 2.5-inch HDDs. They are first launched in external version only for marketing reasons. The margin is higher on external than internal devices and the manufacturer keeps the monopoly of the high-capacity unit for a while, before shipping to OEMs and integrators that add their own cases.

The two USB 3.0 units, M3 Portable with enhanced endurance and P3 Portable with sleek design integrate new Samsung 6Gb SATA Spinpoint M10P 2.5-inch internal hard drive.

The former highest capacity 2.5-inch HDD, at 3TB, from Toshiba, was announced in January 2015 using four 750GB disks rotating at 5,400rpm, and was 15mm high. The new Samsung HDDs are based on 800GB/disk, which means five platters and ten heads, and presumably with SMR and not PMR technology. The internal HDD is 15.1mm high and cannot be integrated in notebook computers that need thinner devices. Rotational speed (5,400rpm?) and cache size have not been revealed. Other capacities available are 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 3TB.

At Amazon, they are named Seagate Backup Plus Fast 4TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 STDA4000100 at $210, and Seagate 4TB Backup Plus Fast Portable Hard Drive STDA4000200 at $426.

Record Capacity for 2.5-Inch HDDs at 500GB and More

Date of
Vendor Capacity No. of
01/2008 Samsung 500GB 3/6 9.5mm
07/2009 WD 1TB 3/6 12.5mm
09/2010 Seagate 1.5TB 4/8 15mm
03/2012 WD 2TB 4/8 15mm
01/2015 Toshiba 3TB 4/8 15mm
06/2015 Samsung/Seagate 4TB 5/10 15mm