Western Digital’s latest hybrid drive is a power user’s dream come true.
The $299 laptop drive, dubbed the WD Black2 Dual Drive, combines a 120GB solid-state drive with a 1TB hard drive. The result, the company says, is a drive that offers both the speed of an SSD and the capacity of a hard drive.
Which leads to one inevitable question: What can you do with something like this anyway? To use the most oft-cited use cases, owners of the drive could use its SSD portion for their computer’s operating system, while saving the HDD to store everything else.
Though there are obvious performance benefits with such a setup, Western Digital also argues that the Black2’s dual-architecture reduces its overall wear-and-tear, extending its lifespan.
While hybrid drives are nothing new for Western Digital, the Black2 is unique in that it treats its SDD and HDD as two separate drives, letting users choose where specific data is stored. In contrast, the company’s previous drive stored all data on the spinning disk and only used the SDD to save and access data that was used frequently.
As great as all of that sounds, the WD Black2 has one big limitation: It only works on Windows 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. “Mac OS,” the company says, “is not supported at this time.”