Although it isn’t news to some, it is a very interesting consideration most should make when selecting their new ultra and PC systems this year. Hard drives are not compliant with the new SATA DEVSLP spec and this includes hybrid devices, although we wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t overcome sometime in the future. SATA DEVSLP only works for SSDs. We have addressed DEVSLP in several articles while at Computex and DEVSLP allows your PC system to enter an ultra low power mode that saves power while asleep, continuously updates (including e-mail), and starts incredibly fast when activity is resumed. In short, your PC now acts much the same as your smart phone and never has to be turned on or off.
Having said that, that doesn’t take away from the technological step forward that the WD Black brings us. The WD Black is only 5mm thick which is incredible thin, considering that it contains a hard disk and SSD components. Because only one disk is contained, it is available in capacities up to 500GB and, something we were very impressed with was the fact that variable capacity flash from 8-24GB was available for the WD Black. Western Digital expects to market it at the consumer level eventually and this brings another consideration into effect when purchasing a system.
Because of it’s incredibly thin size, this hybrid device has a special SATA connector that is not compatible with those we see on systems today. For the consumer that will mean that there is no opportunity to upgrade this device down the road, except with a future release of the same.