Toshiba MQ01ABD100 full review

Finding a thousand gigabytes in a modest 2.5in laptop drive is nothing new now. But it’s only relatively recently that we’ve seen such drives in the standard 9.5mm high size, like this Toshiba MQ01ABD100. Read more storage reviews.

Toshiba was probably the first to market with a 1TB drive, the MK1059GSM, which was a three-platter drive built into a 12.5mm chassis. Western Digital also made a fat 1TB Scorpio Blue, also known as a WD10TPVT, which latter dieted down to 9.5mm with the designation WD10JPVT.

Now Toshiba’s hit the same waistline figure of 9.5mm with its Toshiba MQ01ABD100 notebook drive. It has two platters and four read/write heads.

Another 9.5mm-thick 1-terabyte drive is good news for laptop owners, as most notebook computers will not accept the larger 12.5mm disks; and it usefully expands the choice of storage suppliers for laptop makers, resulting in a greater likelihood of a laptop brand adopting these formerly rarefied terabyte disks.

Toshiba MQ01ABD100: Features

The Toshiba MQ01ABD100 is not built as a high-performance 7200rpm disk, but as a general-purpose 5400rpm drive for laptops – as well as other consumer electronics that now rely on disk storage. Namely set-top boxes that record and timeshift video, games consoles and even some NAS drives.

It takes a Serial ATA 3Gbps interface, ample for a hard disk, and adds an 8MB buffer cache. Average seek time is specified at 12ms, and acoustic noise at 24dBA.

Toshiba MQ01ABD100: Performance

In the ATTO benchmark, the Toshiba MQ01ABD100 could reach 114MBps for sequential reads and writes, for all data from 8kB to 8MB. This compares well with the original MK1059GSM drive which topped out at around 98MBps. 

Using the CrystalDiskMark sequential tests, we saw even higher figures of 134MBps reads and 130MBps writes.

By looking at the HD Tune Pro benchmark, we can see a maximum read of 114MBps, falling to 56MBps minimum, and averaging across the disk at 90MBps. Write speeds were effectively the same as we’d expect of spinning disk technology. Access time was slower than specified at 17.3ms read and 20.6ms write.

These read/write figures also all edge out Western Digital’s 1TB Scorpio Blue, which hit max and mins of 110MBps and 54MBps, averaging 85MBps.

Toshiba’s older 1TB drive, meanwhile, could only muster 98/48MBps, averaging 76MBps, in the same HD Tune Pro test..


Toshiba MQ01ABD100: Specs

  • 1TB notebook drive
  • 2.4in form factor
  • SATA 3Gbps interface
  • also available in 250, 320, 500, 640 and 750GB capacities
  • 70 x 100 x 9.5mm
  • 111g