On the surface, Western Digital's WD Black2 Dual Drive (WD1001X06XDTL) appears to be simply yet another version of the same hybrid storage idea that's been floating around for a few years now: have a small SSD for fast access backed up by a large HDD, all in the same package. However, the trick to WD's latest product is that instead of using the SSD as an invisible, high-speed cache here the two are kept separate. In one drive you literally get a 120GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive.
What's the advantage of this? Well, first and foremost, most hybrid drives have only 4-8GB of cache whereas the Black2 has a full 120GB. It also means you get to decide what data goes on which drive and you get the performance of an SSD at all times. For instance on a hybrid drive overall transfer speeds are little better than a standard 5,400rpm hard drive because the cache is already full of all your most used programs. With the Black^2, though, you can read and write to the SSD at full pelt. All told, it should theoretically be the ideal speed and capacity upgrade for a laptop or small form factor system. Read more